The mental and physical health of students were the two main focal points of Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent Kevin Kaardal’s presentation at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna on Friday.
Kaardal said technology was one prominent health issue for students in today’s learning environment.
“There’s nothing wrong with technology, it’s a tool for learning,” said Kaardal.
“However, screen time is a big issue right now. We need to look at how much time young people and adults are spending on their devices.”
In terms of technology, Kaardal said robotics and coding were two big foundational skills currently being taught to students at his district.
Later on in the speech, Kaardal said there was one particular thing he encouraged students to do to get them to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
“One of the greatest things you can do for mental health and for your performance in life is to be physically active. You’re not going to do that if you’re terrible at everything,” said Kaardal.
“That’s why as a former physical educator, I get people to start walking. It’s a start. Then, you can start to find other physical activities you like.”
Near the end of the presentation, Kaardal pointed out different ways to make learning more impactful for students.
“‘Getting a piece of paper back that said you had an F, what did that ever tell you? It didn’t tell you much more than when you got an A,'” said Kaardal.
“However, if we actually let students apply foundational skills to solve a real-world problem, then that lets them evaluate something they did pretty well.”
Kaardal said two Rutland Senior Secondary students who recently pitched their plastic recycling device on Dragons’ Den as one key example of students applying and learning a foundational skill.
The luncheon was hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce (KCOC)