It was a special day at St. Joseph the Worker School in Orfield Thursday as Allentown Diocese Bishop John O. Barres came out to bless the school's new Technology Enhanced Active Learning Center.
As Barres talked about the value of technology in education, students gathered at the school's new Mac computers and Smart table—and near the room's floor-to-ceiling windows that also will be used as educational space. Monsignor Robert J. Wargo, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Church, also was on hand.
"This is a really exciting day for us," Barres told the students. "Technology is so much a part of your education, isn't it?"
The new center has 30 Mac computers that will be used by students in all grades, as well as a Smart Board and Smart Table for learning. Students also will be encouraged to work out math problems and do other school work on the center's windows.
"It's just a different form of learning," said Principal Jody Myers, as she explained the value of the technology center. The students, she said, are "actively involved in learning." And if the students are active—"minds on, hands on"— they will retain 90 percent of what they are taught, she said research has shown.
Every teacher also has a Mac book, and the school is continuing with its PC (personal computer) lab.
"If you give curious children the tools, and they use their God-given abilities," Myers said, "they will become producers of 21st century skills."