Wheeler Greets Local Elementary Students for “TECH 2016” at the Capitol

Pictured: Representative Wheeler presents Certificates of
Recognition to Valley View Elementary students and staff.
From left to right: 5th Grade Teacher Danielle Jaeger,
Representative Wheeler, 5th Grader Taylor Wickenkamp,
5th Grader Cooper Cohn and Principal Amanda Cohn.
This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) stopped by “TECH 2016: Students for the Information Age” showcase at the Capitol in Springfield to greet fourth and fifth graders from Crystal Lake and McHenry. Wheeler also presented the students with Certificates of Recognition at the event which featured student demonstrations about how they use technology to improve learning opportunities in the classroom.

“To see fourth and fifth graders programming robots and skillfully using collaborative online software to complete assignments is really impressive. It’s certainly not what I was learning in elementary school,” Wheeler quipped.

“Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, which is why it’s so important that our classrooms continue to adapt,” said Wheeler. “The fact that North and Valley View Elementary Schools’ are leading on this front is a testament to the work of the teachers and the students. There’s no question they deserve to be recognized as one of the top schools in Illinois for incorporating technology into the learning experience.”

Students from North Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Madeleine Bartmess, Stephanie Gonzalez and Grace Moore, demonstrated how they meet Common Core standards by using VEX IQ Robotic Kits. Along with their STEM teacher, Michael Moylan, the students showed how they develop critical thinking skills to program the robots to solve real-world problems while they learn computer programming, logic and sequencing.

The students from Valley View Elementary School in McHenry, Cooper Cohn and Taylor Wickenkamp, showed how they work collaboratively in their English Language Arts class by utilizing GAFE (Google Apps for Education). Through the use of GAFE on their Chromebooks, students take part in Digital Literature Circles that allow them to get books and materials digitally so they can share materials and use google forms to work with fellow group members more quickly and effectively to complete assignments. Cooper and Taylor were accompanied by their teacher, Danielle Jaeger, and school Principal Amanda Cohn.

Wheeler presented both groups of students with Certificates of Recognition for being selected among the top 100 elementary schools for their use of technology in a burgeoning information-based society. Illinois has more than 2,600 elementary schools. For more on “TECH 2016” and the Illinois Computing Educators, who present the event every year, visit: http://www.iceberg.org/.