Thanks to a donation from a Chatham entrepreneur, students at Victor Lauriston Public School and St. Joseph’s Catholic School are experiencing a new way to learn math, English and other subjects.
Rob Myers, CEO and founder of RM Auctions, donated $20,000 to each school to buy iPad minis.
The schools held presentations and tours on Oct. 17 to thank Myers for the donation.
Erin Van De Wiele, principal of Victor Lauriston, said the iPad minis have transformed her school’s classrooms.
“This gift of technology took on a life of its own,” said Van De Wiele, noting that the students are more engaged in learning and that the technology has leveled the playing field.
“It was also a gift that increased access to technology for all students, which provided equity and inclusion in learning.”
She said the technology also allows the students to demonstrate what they have learned in various ways.
For example, they can create reports using power-point presentations, movies or voice-over applications.
It was a big day for Grade 2 students who were allowed to pick up the iPads for the first time.
In an exercise aimed at demonstrating the value of 10, the students were asked to line up objects totaling the target number and then photograph the collection with the iPad mini.
Elsewhere, Grade 7 students were using the technology for a lesson in economic geography.
Martin Graham asked his class to search the Internet with the iPad minis to compare fleets of Ford vehicles around the world, noting how the sizes and engine specs differ in various countries.
For example, the students learned that vehicles offered for sale in densely populated India are smaller than those in North America.
“It’s awesome to go through and do this,” said 12-year-old Seth Willder. “It’s a new opportunity and it’s really fun.”
The technology is also bringing the students together.
Grade 8 and kindergarten students collaborated on several video projects that were screened during Thursday’s presentation.
The younger students were tasked with finding several pictures of vehicles by using key descriptive words such as colours or styles.
They then had to organize their photos into a presentation.
With the help of the older students, the collections were turned into videos.
While business commitments kept Rob Myers from attending the tours, he offered his comments in a news release.
“Opportunities afforded to students early in life play a huge role in helping to shape their futures,” said Myers. “RM Auctions is committed to assisting the young people of our community in achieving their full potential. I know the iPad minis will be valuable learning tools for the students that will present new opportunities for classroom learning in this age of technology.”