A short visit to the Cookie STEM Academy brought with it many unique and fantastic experiences. A number of kindergarten students happened to be playing and drawing on an electronic whiteboard, apparently taking part in an educational exercise. The next task at hand for them involved playing word games with cookie monsters. It was an entirely different method of teaching.
However, this method of teaching and sharing knowledge may just become the norm for all of Detroit if Nikolai Vitti has his way. The Superintendent of the district plans to place such electronic whiteboards in every single classroom, while also handing out a personal laptop to every single student. The plan is supposed to be done in the next five years if Mr. Vitti is able to secure appropriate funding. The start of his plans for Detroit, every single student in the district will have their own laptops.
The Current Stage
As of now, Mr Vitti’s vision has been applied to three schools in Detroit. These schools are Cookie STEM Academy, Nolan Elementary-Middle School, and Bagley Elementary School of Journalism and Technology. Through the programs the schools have been able to obtain new technology for teaching purposes.
The technology is supposed to be integrated into traditional teaching methods and not replace them. As Mr Vitti himself offers, “This isn’t about replacing teachers, this is about supplementing the core curriculum. It is my opinion that all technology can do is enhance learning.”
The Teaching Method
In the teaching method advocated by this program, both the teacher and the gadgets combine to help students learn. Initially, the teachers present their lectures and lessons like they normally would, but this is then followed by the electronic tools. The students move to them in groups and interact with a number of different educational programs that offer anything from revision material to quizzes. Not only do students learn to interact with computers, but they also test their knowledge in a way that is conducive to more learning and better knowledge transfer.
This teaching method has been praised and supported by a number of educational experts and education activists all over the country. According to studies that support these methods, the children get to learn at their own pace with technology. Furthermore, it allows children to learn more while also entertaining them. Teaching with technology makes learning fun for children.
This program is a huge step for Detroit as well as the entire state of Michigan. If it all goes according to Mr Vitti’s planning, a bright future for Michigan is ensured. It is a program that marries the outstanding schooling of our teachers with the fantastic customizability and immense capability of technology. It is a great way to teach children and might become the only way soon.