UTSA's La Clase Mágica after-school program introduces kids to technology

La Clase Majica

UTSA education majors use latest technology to teach students at Las Palmas Elementary

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(Nov. 15, 2011) -- The Academy for Teacher Excellence in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development will celebrate Nov. 15 the successful third year of La Clase Mágica, its ongoing, bilingual afterschool technology program. The end-of-the-semester gathering of students, parents and undergraduate teacher candidates is 4-5 p.m. at Las Palmas Elementary in the Edgewood ISD.

From 4 to 4:30 p.m., short videos created by participants will be shown in the library. The videos highlight involvement in the program, the types of activities and lessons they’ve learned, and how the program has brought families closer together. From 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., students and families will meet in the cafeteria to have dinner, receive their certificates and participate in a raffle of an iPad and Flip camera.

La Clase Mágica exposes 23 low-income, Latina/Latino elementary-school students to the latest technological advancements through one-on-one collaborations with UTSA undergraduate teacher candidates who are preparing to be bilingual teachers.

Participants meet each week at Las Palmas Elementary under the guidance of a site coordinator and a UTSA professor. This semester, students explored and completed numerous digital task cards on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The 23 students’ technological access was broadened through the use of iPads, allowing the students to discover at an early age how to skillfully navigate touch-screen technology and smartphone apps.

The program includes a parental involvement component that provides parents with access to technology via monthly workshops. La Clase Mágica is modeled on a program developed in 1989 by Olga Vásquez at the University of California at San Diego.