Hon. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education enjoyed himself thoroughly as he used a tablet to read to students of St Joseph’s Infant School as part of Read Across Jamaica Day activities in May.
“How does the fire truck siren go?” Minister Thwaites asked a classroom full of bright, attentive tots at the school located in downtown Kingston.
“Woo woo woo!”, they replied, along with the Minister imitating the high-pitched wail of the Fire Brigade siren.
The Minister, with the assistance of a smartboard and other equipment provided by e-Learning Jamaica, read a story about firefighters and the importance of their work. The young students, dressed as different professionals for Career Day, enthusiastically participated in the lesson.
St Joseph’s Infant is one of six early childhood institutions in the TIS Project.
Minister Thwaites was impressed with the reading ability of the pre-primary students, and attributed their performance in part to the tablets.
“Normally they would not have been as strong (readers), but they have been aided by the presence of these tablets and by the interesting stories, puzzles and word recognition on them”, he said.
He said that tablets could be particularly useful in improving the performance of boys.
“We have a national problem in that at the end of early childhood education, the data tells us that boys are 20 per cent behind the girls in number and letter recognition – but not these boys”, he said referring to the boys at St Joseph’s Infant.
“They are alert, and the tablets are helping them to be that way.”
Minister Thwaites also commended the teachers at the school for their creative use of the devices for teaching and learning.
You may check out Minister Thwaites reading to students of St Joseph’s Infant by clicking here.
Is your child reading from a tablet or smartphone? How do you think the TIS Project is going? Please drop us a line and let know.
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