Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Sister's Present Benefits All at Washington Elementary School

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Sister's Present Benefits All at Washington Elementary School

Article excerpt

Four years ago Wes Burmark, the computer specialist at Stanley Elementary School in Tacoma, Wash., received a wonderful, albeit unusual, Christmas present from his sister Lynell. It wasn't a tie or a family photo. Lynell, who was also a teacher at the time, sent her brother a LiteWriter LCD panel from Chisholm in Campbell, Calif.

"Now that is a good sister!" says Burmark.

* Helping Visual Learners

That panel has brought more joy to Burmark and the 525 students at Stanley than a tie could ever have. "Although I'm a technology enthusiast," comments Burmark, "like most educators, my wallet is permanently thin. It has to be 'show me first.'"

Show me is exactly what the LiteWriter does. Burmark explains that as computer specialist, he sees all K-5 students twice a week; either they visit him in the computer lab or he goes to them. Stanley Elementary's lab boasts 23 computers, a mix of Apple lie and Mac LCs with lie cards. In addition, the school owns 28 Tandy WP2 laptop computers, which allow Burmark to travel to various classes and hold lessons there.

In the past Burmark recalls that he would teach third graders word processing in the computer lab using curriculum he developed as part of his master's thesis. "We were doing a fair job," he remembers. "The auditory learners were fine but the visual learners had difficulty." Burmark spent much of the period running from screen to screen, helping the visual learners keep up and explaining concepts that these students needed to see to understand.

When he brought the LiteWriter into the lab the results were immediate. …

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