East Hawaii News

Governor Celebrates Digital Learning at Kea`au Elementary

February 6, 2013, 4:11 PM HST
* Updated February 7, 2:11 PM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie today proclaimed Feb. 6 “Digital Learning Day” and paid a visit to Kea`au Elementary School to commend its students, faculty and staff for their efforts in the adoption of digital curriculum.

Last month, Keaau students in kindergarten through eighth grade began using the curriculum that includes a digital device such as a laptop or tablet assigned for their personal use, the governor’s office said.

In his State of the State address last month, Abercrombie called for the establishment of common core digital studies.

A total of 975 digital devices were provided to Kea`au Elementary and Middle schools through the Makana Connection, a demonstration project funded through a $375,000 contribution from Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. and its subsidiary, Hawaii Electric Light Co.

HEI also provided training funds for teachers at the Kea`au schools and at Kalani High School on Oahu. The training was coordinated by the Aloha United Way, which assisted in the fiscal management of the project, and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

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Punahou School ensured that the devices had the appropriate software and provided onsite training for their use.

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“Use of common core digital curricular materials and devices empowers our teachers and students with instructional innovations, engages our students in learning, and helps them to graduate with knowledge and preparation necessary to apply these technological tools in college and the workplace,” Gov. Abercrombie said in a statement issued by his office.

State schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi praised the impact of the public-private partnership.

“Digital learning is critical in preparing our students for their future in this 21st Century,” she said.

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“We’re very grateful for the devices but also the training for our teachers,” added Kea`au Elementary Principal Chad Keone Farias. “The training for the teachers was imperative for structuring productive learning assignments as well as empowering students.”

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