Inside the Ottauquechee School in Quechee, fifth graders prepare for the future.
They put down their pencils, and placed their textbooks on the shelves. With laptops in hand, the elementary school students learn the basics of computer coding.
"You drag something down here and then you put it right there and so if it says move forward, it makes it go forward and then if it says turn right it will turn to the right," said student Will Kainen.
"The first one was I made the cat move forward when I click him," said student Jack Mahan.
"A lot of them love to learn video games and it is very engaging because they can learn the basics and then they can kind of follow their interests and create their own games, their own animations, and beginning to build their resumes," said technology teacher Amanda Yates.
It's part of an ongoing effort in the district to integrate technology into everyday learning. Like a new "Choose Your Own Device" program at the middle school, which will allow kids to bring laptops, iPads or smartphones into the classroom?
"Trying to remove the barriers for kids using technology. They use it outside of school, adults use it. And of course we have devices in school but kind of making it more seamless. So they can use the technology that they are comfortable with," said Yates.
This class is becoming more comfortable with drag and drop interface. But, teachers say they are also learning the basic life skills taught with traditional learning.
"Besides that, for us it teaches many things we are trying to reinforce already. Perseverance, problem solving, communication," said Yates.
Julia Horan has had some difficulty along the way.
"You have to plan out the whole thing before and the computer sometimes doesn't do what you want it to," said student Julia Horan.
She's an aspiring poet or author. But coding, she says, is pretty cool too.
"It's kind of like logic games that really make you think and I like those kinds of things," said Horan.
And if getting kids to think is the goal, this school seems to have that program covered.
Friday, April 18 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:59:13 GMT
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