Beep abuzz about borough’s tech education

Beep abuzz about borough’s tech education
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Borough Hall is banking on bringing young Brooklynites into the digital age.

Borough President Adams brought his jumbo-sized check book to support technology education at Midwood’s PS 193 on Sept. 30, presenting the Gil Hodges elementary school with $250,000 to outfit its new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Lab with a suite of advanced learning tools.

“My administration will continue to move boldly forward in education, unafraid to challenge old paradigms and try new approaches to maximize our youngest Brooklynites’ full potential,” said Adams.

The pre-K-through-fifth-grade institution will use the money to create an multidisciplinary learning lab, which will help students familiarize themselves with a variety of technologies, according to principal Tami Flynn.

Flynn said watching her young daughter trying to interact with a laptop like it was a tablet helped her understand the importance of broad technological literacy.

“My mother has a laptop, and when my daughter went to swipe it, I realized she’d never been exposed to a laptop,” said Flynn, who says her family has tablets at home, but not laptops. “It’s important for these kids to be exposed to all types of technology.”

Flynn said that the school hasn’t yet decided exactly what they’ll be buying with their allotment from Adam’s capital budget, but they already have a few gizmos in mind, including a Promethean Board — described as an interactive white board, it is essentially a large computer touchscreen.

Another, similar device being considered is a smart table, which can seat up to four students and functions similarly to the Promethean Board, but allows students to work together or separately.

PS 193, where 25 percent of students do not speak English, expects to use the new technology it purchases to enhance its ability to teach languages in addition to science and math, and Flynn says it can also help teach students with learning disabilities.

“It’s a big help, and it definitely helps support those students who have disabilities and those who are visual learners,” said Flynn.

The money awarded to PS 193 is part of a $13 million investment in borough schools that the Beep has drawn from his capital budget and will be split amongst 70 elementary to college-level schools, including public, charter, parochial, and private institutions.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixs[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.