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Grant funds ‘paperless’ classroom

PLUMSTED – Administrators in the Plumsted Township School District recently celebrated the opening of a paperless classroom at the New Egypt Middle School.

The paperless classroom, which was funded with a $10,000 OceanFirst Foundation Model Classroom Grant, is part of a project to “engage students in their learning with … computer access in language arts and social studies activities.”

“The OceanFirst Foundation Model Classroom Grant has allowed us to bring technology to our students,” teacher Diane Carr said. “It is very exciting to see students so engaged in learning.”

The New Egypt Middle School was one of 72 schools to apply for the grant and one of 15 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties to receive the award.

Administrators said the paperless classroom was designed to allow students to connect with other classes in the school and in New Jersey, and with local professionals.

To facilitate that style of learning, teacher Tara Melchior said pupils will familiarize themselves with a suite of online Google Applications while cooperatively tackling subject appropriate assignments.

“I really love that students are working with each other on Google,” Melchior said. “It is wonderful to see the students helping each other to improve their work through technology.”

Administrators said a “virtual bulletin board” will be on display outside the classroom to display the students’ work.

Principal Andrea Caldes said she was already amazed at how proficient today’s students are with the technology that is available to them.

“I am impressed with the level of technological knowledge these students display,” Caldes said. “Not only are they learning the language arts and social studies material they are exposed to, they are strengthening their 21st century learning skills as well.”

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