Alex is an energetic 11-year-old who attends Lady Grey Elementary in the small mountain community of Golden. He received a SET-BC desktop computer in 2010 and has made steady and remarkable progress ever since. “I’ve never had a student like Alex in my classroom before!” says his grade five teacher, Bettina. “And to tell the truth, I was nervous in the beginning. But he’s awesome! He’s friendly, smiling, accepting of everyone. He sets a good tone in my classroom, making others feel good just being around him.” Then pointing to Alex’s computer station, Bettina adds, “And this is how he learns.”
“He’s a sponge for learning,” says Patti Giesbrecht, Alex’s SEA. “He is fully integrated in the classroom, following the same schedule as everyone else. When they do science, he does science, but the others read their textbooks while Alex listens to his scanned textbook with Kurzweil on his computer. He’s come a long way with reading, the keys to progress being good memory and lots of practice. We use Kurzweil a lot and the school has subscriptions to “IXL Math” and “Reading A- Z” on the web. In addition, he uses Money Skills software for support in math and Clicker 6 for writing. Alex has just started using Co:writer, a word prediction program and progress is slow but he’s starting to get the idea.”
“However,” Patti qualifies, “We would not be seeing these gains without technology. He can’t use pencil and paper and his language abilities are low. He would be very limited.
Vice-principal Laurie MacDougal agrees. “Alex is interested in technology, so the resources provided by SET-BC have been very beneficial. We are so thrilled with the progress Alex has made with reading this year. It is great to watch him increasing his independence with getting started on his work in the mornings!” Laurie also gives a lot of credit to Patti’s ability to implement the technology, saying “Like Alex, she is very keen on technology and has spent a great deal of her own time familiarizing herself with the software. This, along with her passion for working with children, have added up to a very successful program for Alex.”