The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 12, 2013

Technology changing the classroom environment

OTTUMWA — Technology is finding its way into every facet of life, and the classroom is no exception. The difference is, though, what you're getting out of it at the end of the day.

At Monday's school board meeting, Ottumwa High School government teacher Scott Guest brought several of the tablets his students get to use while in his classroom. There are 30 tablets on a cart in his room that students sign out when they come in.

"We were going to order new textbooks, but we decided this was the better way to go," Guest said.

"They're engaged in ideas that are at a higher level. It's not just basic recall of facts or memorization of dates. It's 'Can you make a claim, back it up with facts and explain your position?'"

The tablets are used to look up information and read many different kinds of articles and documents. They're not being used to submit assignments or take tests, but the information the students are gleaning from is endless.

"I think one of the biggest things I see is that kids are thinking more in my class. That can transfer over into so many things," he explained. "I'm not saying 'OK, turn to page 330 and we're going to study chapter eight.'"

Guest's assignments are also all online, giving them easy access anywhere in the building, at home or any computer with Internet access. Parents can get an access code and use the same program to follow along with what their kids are doing in class.

There is also a forum where students can post comments about their class discussions. While he's always patrolling for anything inappropriate, Guest said it's providing one more way for the teenagers to be involved.

"They may not speak out in class, but they will be more comfortable with the technology," he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • Pesticide use is not all bad OTTUMWA — When you pick up a grocery ad, it seems like every other page has a produce item stamped USDA Organic, meaning that those items were spared from chemicals including Glyphosate, the most common pesticide in the world. As the Organic Food Mov

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Kitchen Science color photo -L -T Kitchen science sparks curiosity OTTUMWA — A lucky group of children spent Wednesday morning experimenting with kitchen science and creating geysers of foam at the Knights of Columbus hall. The Kitchen Science performance was presented by Waterloo's Grout Museum and is part of the O

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Making something of themselves OTTUMWA — Community leaders this week heard how Ottumwa's Job Corps started from nothing yet became successful. But they also heard from students who said they were doing nothing until they found success through Job Corps. "After I dropped out of hig

    July 23, 2014

  • Prosecution: All evidence points to Techel as killer DAVENPORT — Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all evidence points to a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife, according to the prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Prosser, who is prosecuting the case for the third time, said defe

    July 23, 2014

  • New charges filed in abuse case OTTUMWA — A single charge against a man for sexual abuse has been replaced by a new trial information, and authorities are throwing the book at him. Grant Troxel was initially charged in early June with sexual abuse. But the new list of charges indic

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT car investigation color photo -L Tip led to Tuesday arrest OTTUMWA — There was more to the incident Tuesday in which officers surrounded a car near U.S. Bank in downtown Ottumwa than just a routine traffic stop. Police Chief Tom McAndrew said Jason Tobek, 36, is in custody and faces charges of interference w

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eldon man gets five year prison term KEOSAUQUA — An Eldon man was sentenced to five years in prison in Van Buren District Court for his role in an October 2012 altercation in Selma, which escalated into shots being fired into the home or Randall Ritz, 11883 Bridge St., Selma. Donald E.

    July 23, 2014

  • Emergency council meeting Friday OTTUMWA — Ottumwa’s City Council will meet for a second time this week, this time to discuss an emergency problem at the city’s Water Pollution Control Facility. The special meeting will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday in the council chambers. Earlier

    July 23, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints