Social Worker to use technology to teach students

By WEEK Producer

December 19, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 3:50 AM CDT

BARTONVILLE, Ill. -- How much can you do with an iPad? One Heart of Illinois school social worker plans to use the device to help transform her students into leaders.

It's time for morning announcements at Norwood Elementary School in Bartonville.

WHOI 19 News got to join Julie Groeper for a special announcement neither she, nor the student body, was expecting.

Julie Groeper is the school social worker. A handful of students learn various lessons from her like.

"Social skills, anger management skills, relaxation, anxiety, a variety of all those counseling type skills," said Julie Groeper.

Mrs. Groeper wants to take those lessons to the next level, but she said financial limitations have kept her from incorporating technology into the curriculum.

"I learned all about that at a big technology conference in Minnesota that I attended this fall, and it was all about iPads and applications, and how they're using them in the classroom. It was just really amazing, and I thought, 'OK. I've got that technology learning curve, but I'm willing to take it on, because I just see how kids take to that," said Groeper.

Mrs. Groeper said she'll also use the iPad's camera to help students develop their life skills even faster, by watching themselves act out tasks A small activity that will go a long way.

"We want them to be successful. I want them to feel happy. I want them to fit in. I don't want them to be teased, and I want them to be successful as adults, to be able to get a job and land that," said Groeper.