Oct. 10, 2008
RICHIBUCTO (CNB) - The New Brunswick government has invested $180,000 in francophone schools throughout New Brunswick in innovative projects to improve students' learning in physical education, literacy and numeracy. Education Minister Kelly Lamrock visited the Soleil Levant School (School District 11) in Richibucto to see some of the results first-hand.
During his visit, Lamrock participated in a basketball workshop in which Dartfish software was used. This tool enables students, beginning in kindergarten, to observe their movements and correct their motion skills by watching the immediate image of their jump, throw or other movements as displayed by the computer.
"Dartfish is much more than an advanced technological tool; it is an illustration of an innovation that can change learning methods in our schools," said Lamrock. "This software enables students to become involved in their learning since it does not just come from the teacher; it also enables them to exercise critical judgment. By observing what they are doing on the screen, students can correct their movements when they are playing basketball, for example, by taking the data filmed by the software into consideration."
This investment has made it possible to buy equipment for about 30 schools; to provide training in 38 schools; and to train teachers and eight technology mentors.
The importance placed on innovation arises from the provincial education plan When Kids Come First, which proposes to build the best education system in the country.
With Dartfish, physical education also incorporates literacy and numeracy because students must read and count when using the software.
Lamrock noted that literacy is a basic priority at Soleil Levant. He made this observation while taking part in a literacy clinic, an innovative teaching method for children from kindergarten to Grade 3.
"Our performance on the provincial exams improved, and the literacy clinic enables more students to take the courses in the regular curriculum," said Paul Demers, the principal of the school. "Our community's involvement, with the support of the Richelieu Club and the Cartier Foundation, was a determining factor in this innovative adventure. We invite all those in the community who are links in the chain to become involved to promote the success of our students."
The literary clinic enables students to progress at their own pace with their reading, according to their strengths and challenges, by concentrating on specific areas, such as the study of sounds, comprehension of the text, and oral reading.
"I find it encouraging to see so much enthusiasm for learning and for teaching in an innovative and different way," Lamrock said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Angélique Binet, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4714.