Julia Roberts Goad
NEWTOWN — The Mingo County Board of Education visited Mingo Central High School and heard from their Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) about technology being integrated into the curriculum.
The West Virginia legislature mandated the public schools establish LSICs to bring together administrators and faculty to promote innovations and improvements in the teaching and learning environment in the schools.
The LSIC in each school consists of the principal, three faculty members, service personnel, parents, and at-large members appointed by the principal.
Deana Evans, a Technology Integration Specialist at MCHS, said Mingo County schools have first rate technology in classrooms, which is the Global 21 Initiative.
The program is a systemic approach to help West Virginia not only compete globally but also thrive.
At its core is the mission to develop self-directed, motivated learners who demonstrate the skills and knowledge that are fundamental to becoming successful adults in the digital world.
“All our students have a netbook computer,” Evans said. “Using technology such as that, instead of paper and pencil, gets them engaged, they have ownership of their education.”
“We are leading the state in technology,” said Student Body President Darrell Cohenour. “It has created huge opportunities for us.”
American History and Civics teacher Barry Hatfield used technology heavily to engage students learning about government.
“Social Studies can be dull,” Hatfield said. “But with the interest in the Presidential election, we were able to use technology to engage the kids. Not all students learn the same way, you have to find the right balance. Real time programs keep the kids engaged. We have just been handing out worksheets for the past 50 years, we need to change from that.”
After the presentation by MCHS staff and students, members of the Board of Education each spoke.
“A school is not just a building,” Board member Mike Carter. “It is what goes on inside, and what you people do here is amazing.”
BOE President Bill Duty appreciated technology, but that the human touch is also important.
“We don’t want to get so enmeshed in connectivity that we lose the fact that we are human,” Duty said.