Fraser Valley Elementary School pushing technological edge in part from a Rendezvous grant
At a time when the Fraser Valley is headed into a wave of change that is being motivated by new resort growth, one of its schools has already moved into the future with state-of-the-art technologies that help students to learn their lessons faster, and teachers to better understand their students.
“Our school can be described as being on the cutting edge of teaching and learning technology,” said Reba Ferguson, Principal of Fraser Valley Elementary School in Fraser. “We like to think of ourselves as a team of learners.”
Right now, the newest face of school technology is the “whiteboard,” an interactive “smart” version of a school blackboard that provides teachers and students with vivid enhancements to their classroom presentations and exercises. Fraser Valley’s classrooms have been equipped with whiteboards, thanks in part to a $19,000 grant from the Rendezvous Foundation, a non-profit established by Koelbel and Company, developer of Rendezvous, the resort community between Fraser and Winter Park.
Whiteboards can be linked to teachers’ laptop computers, as well as to computers in the homes of students via the Internet. When a child is sick, a teacher can upload the same presentation that the class received that day … almost, said Ferguson, the same as firsthand participation in class.
“We were amazed by the capabilities these teachers have now,” said Leanne Small, Executive Assistant to Rendezvous Director of Development Terry Stanford, after a tour of Fraser Valley Elementary last week. “The faculty is very impressive in working to give students the very best capabilities. Of all the ideas for grants that we’ve received, their proposal really stood out.”
The Rendezvous Foundation was established at the time of Rendezvous’ opening in 2002 as non-profit source to provide support and encouragement for education, recreation, historical preservation, volunteerism, cultural appreciation and community services for the Fraser Valley.
According to Ferguson, the use of the whiteboard, along with laptop computers and other technology, is being embedded in all aspects of the Fraser Valley curriculum.
The smart technology functions to engage and motivate students, regardless of their particular learning style.
Ferguson adds that some grant dollars are being used to provide amplification technology, an add-on to the whiteboard concept that makes it easier for students to hear what the teacher is saying no matter where they’re seated in the classroom; and for teachers to better hear questions and responses from students.
“We believe these new teaching models lead students to deeper understanding and to a truer level of learning,” Ferguson noted. “Interactive whiteboards help students take charge of their own learning by way of an inquiry based approach. As educators, it is our responsibility to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, and this technology provided through Rendezvous’ generosity is helping us meet those demands.”
Rendezvous, situated between Fraser and Winter Park, offers an ever widening range of resort-style homes priced from the $400s to $2 million, including custom homes, new-styled cabins, and new lines of resort townhomes. All are served by Rendezvous Park and by hundreds of acres of open space and trails adjacent to National Forest. Information about Rendezvous is available at the Rendezvous Discovery Center, off U.S. Highway 40 at Rendezvous Road.
For information, call (970) 726-4500 or visit http://www.rendezvouscolorado.com.
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