Students at The Learning Center Charter School are no stranger to the use of state-of-the-art technology as part of their every day learning experiences. The school has 3D printers in several classrooms, Smart Boards in every classroom, computers and laser printers available to every student, and more.
The school has cultivated an E-STEAM environment where students learn using a variety of methods, tools, and techniques. E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts & agriculture, and math.
Head of school, Ryan Bender, said, “We use technology as part of our inquiry-based learning approach and have found that students gain a deeper understanding of a subject by means of experimentation with it.”
Bender pointed to a science class as an example of technology enhancing student learning. “By giving our students access to technology and tools, we allow our students to “do” science instead of just “learn” science.”
For example, third grade students studied conduction, friction and heat transfer on January 20, 2020. They conducted an experiment using infrared thermometers. Students experimented on how the properties of different objects affect friction when rubbing with a cloth. Temperature was taken with the infrared thermometers and measured at different times through the course of the experiment. Conduction, convection and radiation were all concepts that student learned as a result.
Bender added, “Using technology not only helps young students learn the skills required to operate the newest devices and latest software, but also allows them to research and solve problems in a collaborative and cooperative manner with their peers.”