Loud bells and busy hallways – school has begun.
This year technology once again takes over the classroom. iPads and tablets are replacing pens and books.
Some parents might consider these mini computers an unnecessary expense. However, for Sandra Dinelle, a single mom with two kids, it is worth every penny. “This is a new year. Technology is advancing and so should our children,” she said.
“We have to move with the times and soon everything will digital for kindergarten and up.”
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Her children attend Grade 4 and 6 at École La Vérendrye, Lethbridge’s only Francophone school.
This year the southern Alberta French school district implemented a Bring Your Own Device program, making computing devices a mandatory school supply.
“There’s a collaboration there that is far beyond what we have ever done,” said Monique Gouttin, the school’s grade four teacher.
“You’re going into the world. You’re exploring the world. You’re connecting with other classrooms. You’re connecting with other people, with other teachers.”
The program doesn’t hold parents to purchasing and iPad or tablet for their children. They have optional funding programs that allow them to rent devices for the school year.
“We did consult with all of our parents last year and had meetings around the idea, before we just went and implemented it as the school board wanted us to do so,” said Gouttin.
As for Dinelle, having that little bit of help to further her children’s education means the world.