PHILIPSBURG:— Last week Tuesday, approximate ninety educators from Seventh Day Adventist and both Hillside Schools, Asha Stevens and Helmich Snijders Campuses, came together for a day-long DigiKidz conference. The day was organized by Foresee Foundation, the executor of the DigiKidz project in collaboration with the Tech Teams, Managements and School Boards of all three schools.
The theme of the day was “the Way Forward” assisting schools in how to further develop the integration of ICT and Technology in its schools and classrooms.
After the welcome by Oralie Boirard, General Director of the Hillside Schools, addresses were given by School board Executive Director for Hillside, Mrs. Asha Stevens and School board Advisor, Mr. Alvin Connor. They shared their vision and direction on how their schools were ready to move further, re-thinking the ICT vision on the role of technology for its schools, student and teachers, and making the right choices on educational and school administration software. Both school board representatives emphasized the importance of bringing St. Maarten’s education to the next level by fully integrating ICT and Technology in the daily learning and teaching. They expressed their appreciation for the opportunities that were offered by Foresee Foundation, the external funders and donors, acknowledging that projects like these can only succeed with the additional full commitment and support of all stakeholders, including school boards, staff, parents and students.
Asha Stevens Christian School started in 2014 and was piloting the DigiKidz project. Afterward Seventh Day Adventist School became the second school after being selected to bring Technology integrated education into St. Maarten classrooms. Funds for the ICT infrastructure and professional development were obtained through Windsong Foundation with Foresee Foundation as the project writer and management of this exciting project. Most recently Helmich Snijders Christian School joined the project. Through a great fundraising drive Foresee Foundation was able to raise local sponsoring from the St. Maarten service clubs, local business sector and the Hillside Christian school community.
After the opening words, Foresee Foundation board members, Alston Lourens and Peter Mazereeuw explained the current and future projects, explaining plans to start with DigiTeenz for secondary schools, organize the second Caribbean and Technology in Education conference for teachers later this year and expand the DigiKidz Media lab with a Makerslab where students, teachers and the general public can learn more about 3D printing, coding, robotics and other exciting 21st century creative innovations.
Jose Sommers, President of Foresee Foundation, kicked off the conference sharing the ‘Four-in Balance model’, which helps schools with the successful implementation of ICT and Technology. She also presented the statistical results of two years DigiKidz@St. Maarten including information on educators’ and students’ opinions and 21st century technology skills.
Source: St. Martin News Network DigiKidz Schools Conference a success.