Students, take out your notebooks…

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LAPLACE – Sixth graders at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary have received a special educational gift from the state and Apple, Inc.

They were given new Apple MacBook laptop computers at no cost to the school, as part of Louisiana’s Laptop Initiative.  The initiative is aimed at enhancing individualized classroom instruction throughout the school day using innovative state of the art technology.

The school was awarded individual laptops for two sections of sixth grade, giving two teachers and 45 students fresh, motivational tools to utilize for instruction in English/language arts, writing and science.

“It is most important in the society in which we live that our youngsters become technologically oriented.  Placing technology directly in the hands of sixth grade students can engage and help these young people develop their intellectual talents, responsibility traits, writing talents, and critical thinking skills,” said Margaret Hastings, principal of Lake Pontchartain Elementary.

Curriculum directors Courtney Millet, Ph.D., and Bonnie Dinvaut submitted the grant for the laptops.

Through the acquisition of the individual laptops for the sixth graders at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, individualized and cooperative learning across the curriculum have been enhanced, according to Millet.

She noted that participating teachers Carolyn Rowe and Carla Simoneaux have attended training and have successfully incorporated the laptops into their daily activities to introduce and focus on English/language arts, writing and scientific concepts.  Fundamental to the use of this innovative technology is their commitment to the philosophy that students need to be active seekers of knowledge, Millet said.

“Educators believe that if introduced early and incorporated into classroom instruction, technology promotes positive learning experiences,” Millet said.

“This creative technology initiative will provide opportunities for the classroom teachers to capture the students’ interests and attention through motivating lessons.  When technology is used for teaching and learning, instruction drives technology.  Students will be more focused, waste less time and learning will be accelerated,” she said.