Here are some examples of what our students are doing right now:
- Mrs. Warkentin's and Mrs. Jacobsons's third graders are creating Google Presentations about different Native American tribes. They are comparing and contrasting "types of clothing, hunting methods, food they ate, and...how the location of the tribes...affected their way of living." This has been a cooperative learning activity as the students have all worked in pairs.
- Mr. Baker's fourth graders are studying immigration. Their project is to do "family history interviews," tying their knowledge of immigration to their own families' experiences.
- Mrs. Huntress' third grade students continue to blog. Recently, they have been blogging about Native American tribes, both current ones and those from the past, allowing comparing and contrasting. From this study, the students have written about the needs of Native American communities today, and they have collaborated with a classroom in Okoboji to get input on their writing from students from outside the district. They even Skyped with a Lakota reservation school.
- Kindergarten classrooms continue their collaboration with schools outside the country, including Canada and Japan, among others. They've created classroom presentations to share. They've recorded introductions about themselves to share. And, they've Skyped with students in other classes. What a great way for our little ones to think about culture!
- Mrs. Tucker's seventh graders are writing their own music compositions.
- Mrs. Cole's students are creating book trailers that are available on the SLCSD YouTube channel. You will also see video projects from other district classes on our YouTube channel.
- Mrs. Hixon's seventh grade science students are "researching environmental problems...such as habitat loss, endangered animals, and global warming." They are taking the next step, though, and they are using technology to "create awareness of the problem and/or to provide a solution to the problem." They are creating and publishing "websites, PowerPoints, and Prezis...to make the public aware of what they can do to help."
- Mrs. Green's high school English Language Learners are creating "web-based portfolios" that can be used not only for assessment but also "as a tool for future job or college applications." The students are using Google Apps as the place to work on their projects, because they can collaborate there and get almost instantaneous feedback.
- The high school geometry classes taught by Mr. Grant are using software called Geometer's Sketchpad for "hands on demonstration to help visualize different parts of a triangle."
- Mrs. Vieira has her high school Spanish students blogging, researching poets and creating presentations in Voicethread, using Google Docs to share vocabulary in sentences for immediate feedback, and accessing Spanish resources to increase their Spanish skills. In addition, the Spanish 3 class collaborates with three other Iowa schools regularly for learning.
- Mrs. Mouw's Accelerated English students are doing a research project about cultural history, that makes extensive use of technology. They have "researched, questioned, created, written, revised, problem-solved, collaborated, and exercised their inventive individuality in how they are choosing to fulfill the assignment's requirements." I've seen the assignment, and it is authentic, cross-curricular, collaborative, and demanding. Combining family history with research, history, literature, creative writing, reflection, and collaboration is enhanced enormously with technology.
Realize this is just some of the learning that is going on in the district this very day using educational technology. It's becoming the way we do business here in the Storm Lake Community Schools, and that is a very good thing!