There’s a big push to increase the use of technology in Vermilion Parish elementary school classrooms.

One elementary school in Abbeville is moving on up in the technological world.

In the spring, 5th graders take their standardized tests on the computer so it’s important they’re familiar with the technology.

It’s something that’s being done slowly but it’s evolving now in elementary schools in Vermilion Parish.

Ellen Arceneaux, Assistant Superintendent over Curriculum and Federal Programs at Vermilion Parish School Board Office, says, “It just enhances that classroom and it gets students more engaged in learning and the most important thing is that our students become good productive citizens who are living in a technological world and we need to make sure that they’re prepared for that when they exit our school system.”

4th graders at Seventh Ward Elementary are using an online-based math program called Zearn which is easier to access on Chromebooks.

“Fifth grade ultimately has to take the leap test on computer at the end of the school year so this is just a way of strengthening their skills, their typing skills, just technological skills in general,” Natalie Hebert, Principal at Seventh Ward Elementary.

The Chromebooks were funded through a variety of avenues.

“We used parish fundraiser money, we had a car raffle last year so we used money from that, we used money from our cookie dough sale and also some PTO funds to purchase 30 Chromebooks— 15 is which go into the fourth grade classroom and the other 15 are on a cart for checkout as teachers plan lessons and activities that they can incorporate using the technology in their classrooms,” explains Principal Hebert.

5th graders use the Chromebooks in their English class to answer questions related to their novel.

They can support or defend their answers and also think critically because it’s a live board.

5th grade English and Social Studies teacher at Seventh Ward Elementary, Kacie Creasman, adds, “That’s a big part of it, is being able to critically think about how do I respond to this question, how does the book relate to the question, and how do I relate to my other students, am I thinking the same way they are, am I thinking differently… so that’s why the Chromebooks are so valuable to me, to see what they really know, but then how they interact with each other too.”

Teachers have accounts of live feeds, so they can see exactly what their students are doing.

All the comments on the live board in English class must be positive and constructive as well.

Principal Hebert says she hopes to get more Chromebooks for younger students.

Originally published in August, 2018 by KLFY