Students join discussion on how to improve education system

Central Alberta students joined a provincial discussion on Wednesday on how to improve Alberta’s education system.

Central Alberta students joined a provincial discussion on Wednesday on how to improve Alberta’s education system.

Their ideas at the day-long workshop, Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Alberta, included more emphasis on technology in the classroom, more field trips and hands-on activities in class.

River Glen School student Jacqueline Sands said educators can’t be afraid of change and ranked technology as a priority.

“I’m a big one for technology,” said the Grade 11 student who wants to be a veterinarian.

She said computers, laptops and SMART Boards have made a big difference at her school, assisting in her studies.

“You can access the Internet right in class. You don’t need to go anywhere. I think it’s helping a lot,” she said at the session held at the Capri Hotel.

The Red Deer event was the eighth held and gathered input from about 100 educators, the public, and students.

The information will be used to develop policies that will shape the future of education in Alberta. Ideas will be shared publicly in October.

“Alberta students are 21st century learners and they’re living in a global world that is more and more dependent upon a knowledge economy, so what we’re trying to do is look ahead,” said Brent McDonough, co-chair of the Inspiring Education steering committee.

Grade 11 student Taylor Becher, from H. J. Cody School in Sylvan Lake, was happy to participate.

“One idea is worth so much but when you bring so many together, you’ll make a difference,” Becher said.

“I want to be a doctor. I like to help others. I want to make a difference in the world and I think with a strong education that will be in my future.”

Grade 10 Hunting Hills High School student Bailie Davidson said students should be taught time management so they can better juggle their studies. Some students could also benefit from “a push” to do better.

Jim Gibbons, Chinook’s Edge superintendent and steering committee member, said Alberta’s education policies must be conducive to future generations.

“Even though we’re in a resource-based economy right now, the future is in the knowledge-based economy and we need bright children. We need ones that are adaptable, able to think critically, problem-solve — all of those skills that will make them very successful as they compete around the world in their career field.”

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