“Technology is the use of a variety of tools to enhance student learning and to engage them in ways we previously could only imagine,” says Charles Box, King Innovation Technology Education (KITE) teacher.
In his second year of teaching in the Deer River School District, Box explained that he has always been very interested in technology, especially the use of educational technology.
“When students come to my classroom, I want them all to feel welcomed, loved and supported; that no matter their story, they too can achieve,” Box, who completed his Masters of Education in Learning Design and Technology spring 2019, said. “Technology holds the power to open doors to untold avenues of success. Using technology can help kids abandon comfort zones, work in teams and build supportive learning communities.”
His classroom does have robots, drones and 3-D printers, but technology is way more than that, according to Box.
“With technology, students can safely and confidently participate in larger, even global, networks and communities as they grow older due to the skills learned in classes like mine,” he said. “Our children today will have job opportunities that currently do not exist but the tools, skills and ideas to accomplish complex tasks do exist - and it is my job to show them what their future education institutions, workforces and personal communities will require from them.”
This mission is not tackled independently.
“I work very closely with my King colleagues to create cross-classroom learning opportunities. One example of this is fourth graders bringing their classroom United States reports to life through the use of green screen filming and presenting their projects to each other,” Box said. “Collaboration is a large component in any successful program and I want there to be a sense of continuity for the students as they come to me.”
King Elementary classrooms have been learning about the following:
Kindergarten and first grade are learning about the solar system through the integration of Augmented Reality, which brings the planet, stars and moons to the palms of their hands and opens them to the vast mysteries of our galaxy
Second grade is taking a trip back in time to learn about dinosaurs, expanding on their prior use of Google applications (used to take virtual field trips) to visit and explore real excavation sites
Third and fourth grade students are learning about ancient Egypt and how the use of hieroglyphics is similar to how binary codes of today’s work
Fifth grade is immersing themselves in the American Revolutionary War. They were assigned an important figure from that time period and are creating a virtual reality experience (virtual wax museums) using the virtual reality goggles to show off to the community.
The fifth grade museums will be on display at the Warrior Showcase on March 11, 2020 from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school commons.
“Overall, the success of the KITE program would not be what it is without the amazing support of the Deer River community who voted three years ago to create the KITE space,” Box explained thanking “the members of the ISD 317 school board for their contributions and support, administration such as Jen Stefan and Matt Grose for believing wholeheartedly in my vision, and lastly Ara Anderson, Jenny Conrad and Karen Storlie for getting this program off the ground and creating a marvelous program for me to step into and continue to grow it for the future of the Deer River Community.”
“It is with that support that I am able to do the job I am doing,” Box added. “I am forever grateful to be doing it.”