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Central // Central Oahu Coverstory
Nicole Kato

DoD Awards Tech Grant To Wheeler, Hale Kula

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity, schools like Hale Kula Elementary on Schofield Barracks are able to fund blended learning programs, which allow teachers to provide individualized and differentiated instruction for students using technology and face-to-face instruction.

Hale Kula Elementary and Wheeler Middle School have received $482,000 from the Department of Defense Education Activity Educational Partnership, which funds innovative learning experiences at schools with large populations of military-connected students.

“We’ve been trying to integrate technology with education and make it so the kids will have a chance to collaborate, communicate, create and share projects with each other online,” explained Jan Iwase, Hale Kula principal.

Next school year, about 40 of its fourth- and fifth-graders will be given the option to log on to a video chat from home to discuss assignments with teachers or collaborate with classmates. Iwase explained that students will still go to school twice a week to take part in the social experience face to face. The other three days students will access assignments and conduct discussions online.

“This is a way to have the kids experience how learning takes place around the clock. You don’t have to have a school room,” Iwase said.

Hale Kula Elementary has grown significantly in population, so this hybrid form of learning is a great addition.

“When you have 25 students in the classroom, the individual attention isn’t always there,” Iwase explained.

“In an online environment everyone’s voice can be heard, and teachers can also get a better idea of what the student is struggling with.”

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