Chromebooks change education in Pelham

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fifth grade students at Valley Intermediate School are using Chromebooks in their classroom to research various subjects. (Contributed)

Fifth grade students at Valley Intermediate School are using Chromebooks in their classroom to research various subjects. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— When students started school in August, Pelham had integrated about 1,500 new devices into classrooms, and teachers began utilizing Chromebooks in their lessons.

Michelle Dobrinski, a fifth grade teacher at Valley Intermediate, and Frank Price, a teacher at Riverchase Middle School, have both implemented Chromebooks into all their classes and said the students are benefiting from it.

“They really like having technology in their hands,” Price said. “They enjoy using the technology far more than they do using a textbook. I feel like we can do the same assignments or readings and they are far more into it because it’s technology.”

Price teaches seventh grade geography and an elective called Project Lead the Way, which deals with science, the environment and energy. Each class uses the Google app, Google Classroom, where Price can display work for them.

“That’s a lot of fun and the kids get into it,” he said. “It’s amazing…they aren’t having to use a notebook all the time.”

Students can use the app to answer questions, do vocabulary and complete quizzes, and Price can provide immediate feedback for everything. The app also archives all the work they do, providing corrected study guides to aid the students.

Dobrinski is also using Google Classroom in all of her fifth grade classes, and said it is a great tool for her to use. She feels the Chromebooks peak the interest of students who were bored in class, and the students are getting more from their lessons.

“This is my 14th year to teach, and this year has been the biggest learning year for me, especially learning all the ways I can implement technology in the classroom,” she said. “These kids are amazing with it. They have not had any troubles and they are actually teaching me a few things.”

Both teachers agreed the new technology is allowing students to gain a deeper level of education because they can explore questions and subjects more extensively. They said this level of education is something that will stay with the students through high school and college.

Price’s geography class is using an online textbook this year, and his elective class is already working on presentations using the Chromebooks. Everything for the project will come from work done online, and Price said they will soon begin a value of energy study as well.

“It’s got some challenges, but they are very energetic and they love it more than anything,” he said.