“We need to tap into that existing knowledge and familiarity with technology to make learning even more compelling,” Sandals told reporters gathered in the library of Dr. J. Edgar Davey Elementary school.
John Malloy, the Director of Education at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), said he was “delighted” with the funding, which will help pay for the board’s plan to give all students in Grade 4-12 an iPad in the next five years.
Sandals also stressed that students will need both technology skills and ability to think critically about what they’re doing with technology to succeed in the global economy.
'School becomes the great equalizer'- Liz Sandals, Ontario Education Minister
“Technology isn’t just about using technology,” she said, adding the gadgets used in schools should be used in a variety of learning areas.
The HWDSB’s Malloy agreed, saying students should be “focused on learning, not on the tool.”
Both said the use of technologies will allow teachers to focus on what educators call “higher order skills” like critical thinking, creativity and the ability to work in collaboration, which modern employers demand.
And, Sandals said, spending more money on technology in school allows students who don’t have iPads at home — about a third of the Grade 4s in the class raised their hand when asked if their family had a tablet — to have a similar level of access.
“School becomes the great equalizer,” she said, adding access to technology becomes a “huge issue when you look into the future.”