By BRANDON L.
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Students Tempest Armstrong, left, and John Daxton use laptops from Community Christian School’s mobile computer lab for their lessons.
Community Christian School uses its mobile computer lab to enhance its students' education.
The school has 16 laptops for its students, donated last year.
"Teachers use it in a variety of ways," Margaret Shields, CCS dean of students, said. "Our sixth- to eighth-grade art teacher recently used it to do art by having the kids create their own PowerPoint about themselves."
The elementary students use the technology for development, Shields said.
"There are so many educational websites out there that have fun learning games that the kids can go to and use," she said. "Our teachers have created either a link or they put it on the chalkboard what sites they can go do when they have the computers out, so the students can choose, go to that website and pick something from that website to do."
The students, Shields said, aren't left alone with the technology.
"Even though little kindergartners have gotten started with computers this year, usually our kindergarten teacher will have a volunteer or foster grandparent in the room at the same time, so that they can both be helping them learn how to find these websites and do the activities that are there," she said.
The school's sixth- to eighth-grade students use the laptops for research.
"Students know what sites they're allowed to go to," Shields said. "We do have filters to keep students in safe locations on the Internet, so students can go and look up things, find things they need for research, for projects they're doing."
It is important, Shields said, for students to learn how to use the Internet responsibly.
"Students today, they're exposed to all of these technologies and use it. Just giving them the chance to use it at school and in the right way is pretty important," she said. "From my perspective, it's very important we teach our students positive ways to use the technology that's out there. There are so many things that could be used the wrong way so we try to teach good Internet skills."
Christianity plays as important a role in technology instruction as any other of its classes, Shields said.
"We went to a Christian school conference, and one of the sessions in the conference was talking about the positives and negatives of technology, and there are both," she said. "And as a Christian, I believe our school can use technology in a positive way. We want our students to be thinkers in technology and using that. We do like to use it to learn things about the world, and see how they fit with our Christian philosophy as the teachers help the students with research."
Shields said she is grateful her students have access to the technology.
"It has just been a real asset to our school," she said. "We are real thankful to the company that donated them to us last year to use, and we have them up and running. It's been super to have that technology here."