Bluffton using 21st Century Learning project


By Treena Mielke

It’s business as usual at Bluffton School with no changes to staff, and school population numbers remaining fairly consistent.

School principal Nolan Krauss said the kindergarten to Grade 9 school has about 145 students registered and he is looking forward to an exciting year ahead.

“We have a few new students and that’s always fun,” he said. “We are a small school with a big heart,” he added, noting the school continues to remain on the cutting edge of technology.

Bluffton School is one of seven schools within Wolf Creek that is taking part in the Understanding 21st Century Learning project.

The project involves teaching students elements of digital citizenship including etiquette, security, rights and responsibilities regarding on-line usage, social media and (Facebook) skills. It also gives them valuable information about web 2.0 tools which include web based presentations, software and a multitude of video conferencing opportunities.

Jay Cottell is the lead teacher at Bluffton who works with students and staff to provide ongoing support, mentorship and professional development for staff regarding the project. He also works closely with students in the classroom.

“The project has heavy emphasis on developing digital citizenship,” he said.

A program introduced last year which encouraged students to use their own personal devices such as laptops, IPhones, IPods and other digital devices to enhance their learning will be expanded this year to include grades 5 and 6.

It worked so well last year with grades 7 to 9 that we are opening it up for the younger grades this year,” said Krauss.

The Terry Fox Run, which has been ongoing at Bluffton School for 32 years, will take place on Sept. 30.

“It’s always an exciting event and one in which the whole school participates,” said Krauss. “We’re hoping to surpass the $200,000 mark in fundraising totals with this year’s run.”