Recently, students in Mrs. Sumbry's eighth grade science classes created multimedia presentations explaining Newton's laws. What's notable about their project is the manner in which students collaborated and prepared presentations. It's not the iPads or software used to create the presentations. Nor is it the cloud storage used to share images taken with student smart phones. While working, the classroom was noisy, all students were engaged (but not uniformly so), and the teacher was in constant motion throughout the room. It's clear that Mrs. Sumbry is preparing her students to work in a collaborative environment. She is clearly an Instructional Technology Superstar!
Our newest Instructional Technology Superstars are Mrs. Halvorson, Mr. Rose, Mrs. McCollum and Ms. Tosi. Understanding the benefits of collaboration, they designed writing prompts for conversations in the digital platform, Edmodo. And things didn't go so well in the beginning! As is typical with middle schoolers (and some adults, I might add) initial posts were often silly, disrespectful and lacking in content. After a few weeks of concerted efforts on the part of these teachers - as well as some tweaking of their writing prompts, they are seeing great improvement in student interaction. Thanks to a great team for teaching much-needed communication skills and for not giving up on these students.
Caring. Dedicated. Thorough. These are words that have been used to describe South Girard media specialist, Amy Nelson. In addition to her other duties, Mrs. Nelson is the primary point of contact for all things iPad-related at SGS. Specifically, she manages iPad distribution and troubleshooting so that the devices can be used effectively in the classrooms. (She's even been known to help locate a missing iPad or two!) Mrs. Nelson performs these tasks with the utmost respect for her students and is greatly appreciated!
Lakewood's Tanja Smith is this month's Instructional Technology Superstar! Mrs. Smith is piloting a program that helps young students learn to code. With the help of Mr. Philip Wright from Boy Scouts of America and the Sphero robot, fifth graders are learning math, problem-solving, and collaboration skills...just to name a few.
Thanks, Mrs. Smith. Not just for pushing the envelope with our elementary students...but for being a good sport and posing for a photo op on Nerd Day. (But somewhat appropriate for a coding lab, I think.)
Stay tuned for more Superstars next week! We have so many, I'll be posting more frequently. Don't forget to nominate your Instructional Technology Superstar.
Band students at PCIS and SGS are practicing and performing more effectively...thanks to their forward-thinking band directors. This summer, Ms. Haynes and Mr. Wells worked with technology department staff to secure iPad apps created specifically for band. Students no longer sort through paper sheet music during performances; all songs are loaded directly in an app called ForScore. And practice is better as well with the TonalEnergy app. If you haven't listened to these students perform, please make plans to do so soon!