Rotary Notebook: Educational Technology Program
Many of our members are still unaware of Welland Rotary’s involvement with the local elementary schools. To begin with, this is a program that began about 12 years ago to supply elementary schools in those areas of Welland that were unable to support their schools beyond the bare necessities. Those schools were not able to afford the technology that schools in the more affluent neighbourhoods, with their PTA assistance, were able to provide. We started by talking to the principals and teachers concerning their needs, both present and future, in the expensive technology area, and worked together to create a viable system.
We worked with 2 schools at a time for 3 years supplying them with what was cutting edge equipment at the time. At first, they were looking for interactive technology , such as white boards and smart boards, but then this changed, as the educational strategies evolved into a more personal system, to the hand-held Chromebooks. This equipment allowed the process to be student-oriented, much more flexible than the older, classroom-centred equipment. This process will be coming to an end in two more years, and after spending approximately $15000 per year for the duration of the program, supplemented by Rotary District grants, we hope our small contribution has given the students a hand up in their educational experience.