By Pat Young
For Hometown News
Giving school children an advantage in today's high-tech world has become an important part of the school curriculum. Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange is no exception.
"This year our school is one of Volusia County's pilot schools participating in the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) program," said Assistant Principal Maite Porter. "But we're not a Title 1 school, so we're trying to do this on our own. We're trying to even the playing field."
Many of the Silver Sands students have Wi-Fi enabled technology devices in their homes, she said. However, many students are not as fortunate and their families struggle to provide extras.
"We want all of our students to benefit from the opportunities that using technology in classrooms provides," she said.
Silver Sands is in need of Wi-Fi tablets, smart phones, etc. to keep on hand for teachers to check out when students are not able to bring their own technology to class.
"We are reaching out to our local community, hopeful that we will be able to make this vision a reality for Silver Sands Middle School," Ms. Porter said. "We are looking for cell phones, iPods, tablets, etc. that have the capability to connect to Wi-Fi. Many people have these items lying around after a recent cell phone upgrade."
"We're incorporating more of the technology in classrooms and getting students involved," Ms. Porter said.
Another way she said they are using technology is to help foreign students learn English. They have a student from Colombia who spoke no English when he arrived. He can use the device to translate language, helping him communicate and learn English.
BYOT is an educational development and supplementary school technology, resource model where the home and school collaborate. Students' use of their own digital technologies can be extended into the classroom. And this same technology can extend the student's education 24-7 outside the classroom as well.
If anyone can make a donation, call Maite Porter at (386) 322-6175.