Knoxville — The ways in which art and technology are influencing Knoxville school students are vast. Many of the latest uses of technology were on display at four of the school district's buildings Wednesday night, May 8.
Starting off at Northstar Elementary, Smart Boards have become key tools. Mrs. Foster said she utilizes different programs on the boards to teach students. The Smart Boards act as a touch screen, allowing children to spell and perform other tasks with bright, interactive demonstrations.
At West Elementary, where Knoxville's youngest students attend school, Mrs. DeMoss utilizes the Apple TV. This handheld device connects to an electronic board. The board utilizes different apps for a variety of uses. For instance, she has an app that measures the noise level in the classroom. She, and the students, can monitor a meter on-screen, complete with a yellow face that ranges from smiling - when the kids are quiet - to crying, when the kids become too loud. Apps are also available for "rewards" when students do well. Mrs. DeMoss' class likes to make virtual pizzas.
All elementary teachers interviewed use technology for educational purposes. Mrs. Galeazzi at West uses technology to communicate with her students.
Many programs allow students to write or draw on the boards, either using their fingers or specialized pens. When this is done, these programs will recognize the word, or shape and make them look nicer on screen. Enjoyment of seeing their handiwork suddenly perfect in their eyes is not limited to elementary students.
Mrs. Kuntz, while teaching math at Knoxville Middle School, said her students still get excited when the circles they draw suddenly become perfect on screen. Uses of the Smart Boards are similar to those in elementary school, just at the appropriate, more advanced level.
Use of technology reaches its peak at the high school level. Mr. Sanger and some of his auto shop students were proudly displaying the car they have been working on all year. An anonymous donor has provided the shop with cars to rebuild the past several years.