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Westsyde Secondary embraces technology

Jasmine Strain and Katie Giroday show off the Russian Revolution comic book created by their Grade 12 class and recently published as an iBook.
November 19, 2013 - 12:02 PM

KAMLOOPS – Students of Westsyde Secondary School are keeping up with the technology that will shape their future by publishing iBooks to show off their school projects.

Gone are the days where a collection of photocopies made up a portfolio of what was accomplished in high school. With three books already published (on human rights abuses, the war of 1812 and the Russian Revolution) and a fourth book in the works (Canadian culture and stereotypes) social studies and history teacher Jeremy Reid is giving his students something to embrace, show off and share with the click of a mouse or touch of the iPad. Reid makes sure his students incorporate all the extra functions that can be used when creating an iBook including video and other media.

While many students look forward to using the new technology in class some are a little reluctant, calling the iPads distracting and the programs hard to learn. Many more are in the pro-camp though, including Grade 12 students Jasmine Strain and Katie Giroday who both look forward to history class, saying they find the class a little more relaxed and interesting thanks to the iPads and Reid's love for using technology.

“I like the way he incorporates new technology,” Giroday says. “It makes things more accessible.”

For Giroday, using iPads in class was a completely new experience but she gladly uses them for history and science. For Strain the experience wasn't new. She has one at home and has used Apple products in class since Grade 4, when she created her own website.

“I recommend the class,” she says, adding the new technology, “makes it interesting and we don't have mass texts to read through.”

Westsyde Secondary is one of the most advanced schools in the district when it comes to technology and as the technology coordinator for the school Reid is quite proud of the school's role as a district leader. Every room has a smart board and projector in the school, there are nearly 60 iPads currently in use at the school, with another 30 soon on the way, and there is even a fully outfitted video conferencing room. Students are also allowed to bring cell phones and lap tops into many classes, something students at most other schools can't say.

Recognized as a teacher who is embracing technology, Reid was one of several teachers in the district to recently attend an Apple education conference in Toronto. That forum led to a connection that may see the latest iBook, a comic book on the Russian Revolution, advertised by Apple. Not all students have heard the news yet but those that have share Reid's excitement over the potential of being picked up by Apple for advertising.

The 12-year teaching veteran also embraces Twitter in the classroom and his students have a dedicated Twitter handle @BlueWaveWSS used to help interact with politicians and media. In addition Reid is working with teachers at other schools to help coordinate joint projects across a couple schools that will hopefully result in more published works for the district.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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