Students like Quinn and Alexis Bernthal, ages 8 and 11, said using technology in the classroom helps them learn and stay engaged. They both enjoy using Chromebooks, but they agree that their favorite classroom technology is the SMART Board.

“It can do basically everything technological,” Alexis said. “It can’t make a hamburger, obviously.”

Classroom technology may not be able to flip burgers yet, but Quinn says she likes how it provides another opportunity to learn. “You can learn how to use technology and you can learn what you’re studying at the same time,” she said.

In addition to using more technology to promote interactivity and integration, University Hill has already been approved to replace their native language literacy block with an integrated literacy block starting this year. With the more updated model, students with different language backgrounds will be put in class together with either an English or Spanish teacher for an entire month and then switch. They will still honor the federal mandate requiring ELL students to have their own 45-minute English as a Second Language (ESL) class time.

“We are one global community of over 8 billion people. For us to be able to communicate, it really starts with our children,” said Wood.

Lisa Driscoll is an editorial intern at eSchool news.