The Dare County Board of Education toured Roanoke Island's four schools on January 10 prior to its late afternoon meeting at Manteo Elementary School. At each school Board members, in company with the Superintendent and key administrators, were welcomed by the school principal and taken to several classrooms to gain perspective on classroom happenings and instructional practices. This particular tour had heavy emphasis on technology, with good reason. As part of the state core curriculum overhaul, schools have been mandated to go beyond simply using technology in teaching and learning to genuinely incorporate various technological devices, tools and applications in every subject at every level. Dare County Schools are aggressively taking on this charge, as demonstrated by classroom activities throughout all grade levels and across all disciplines.
At Manteo Elementary School, kindergarten students were using iPads to learn about the characteristics of the seasons with a creative hands-on group activity; third graders were mastering geometry basics using manipulates; and fifth grade students class were working in teams using clues to investigate black boxes through logic, and trial and error. At Manteo Middle School, Board members observed a class of English language learners, students reviewing material for a test, a physical education class, and a cross-discipline activity involving literacy, art and music using iPads. Dare County Alternative School social studies students were engaged in interactive learning using iPads, as were math students, who were using an online resource provided by the NC Department of Public Instruction. The tour of Manteo High School included demonstrations of reactions in chemistry lab (held outdoors), statistics students using graphing calculators, a presentation for senior English students on how to enhance their senior project portfolio, and a visit to an art class working on a project that combined art concepts and literacy. The Board toured Hatteras schools in November; the next Board tour, of Kitty Hawk and Nags Head Elementary schools, is scheduled for March 13.