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October 13, 2015

LHES Teachers Look to Bring Tech Lessons to Classrooms

Photo of Lanai teachers Don Jones and Jared Savage in front of LHES mural.

Twenty-first century classrooms are incorporating much more into their curriculum than the standard reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Today’s teachers are looking to supply their students with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

STEM clubs across the state are teaching students how to build robots, design websites and more. Even coding, which was once considered a specialized skill for computer science majors, has increasingly made its way into high school and even elementary-level lessons as a way to build critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Trading ideas with educators at Iolani workshop

LHES teachers Don Jones and Jared Savage recently took a trip to Oahu to learn a thing or two about how to bring coding to the classroom. Both attended a workshop at Iolani School introducing the basics of iOS mobile app development and Javascript writing.

“It was a great opportunity to see what is being done at other schools in the state,” said Jones, who teaches high school math at LHES. “We had the chance to interact with other educators, who have similar ideas around using technology to establish life skills.”

Plans in the works to bring coding to LHES

Jones and Savage hope to use what they have learned at Iolani to implement a similar program on Lanai.

“Lessons in writing code provide a huge opportunity for cross-curricular applications in math and science,” Jones explained. “The lesson is about more than the programming itself — it teaches logical progression and problem solving strategies, ways of thinking that are extremely valuable for students of all ages.”

Jones is optimistic that LHES will be expanding its STEM curriculum offerings soon. Learning Javascript and developing simple mobile apps will provide students with a base to springboard to more advanced coding languages and software development. The possibilities are endless.

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