Innovative use of technology isn’t just for teachers in Lexie Herron’s college composition course. The students in her class are challenged to complete a digital essay considering how a concept in their textbook is proven or disproven by the Lima Senior High community.
After reading essays centered around beliefs Americans have, Herron’s students interview members of the Lima Senior community about their experiences and thoughts to determine how those beliefs appear at LSH. “The impact this project has had upon students includes the chance to examine their own school with a new and different lens, and most of all, the project gets them out of their comfort zones,” Herron claims. LSH’s Technology Integration Coach, Teresa Castellaneta, team taught with Herron to introduce film modes and techniques and assisted with video editing.
The interviews and other aspects of the project become part of a website the students create. Herron explained that the students work with partners for this project, which “forces students to utilize their creativity and collaboration to help each other through this group project to overcome their weaknesses and build new strengths.” The students also write an essay focused on the metacognitive aspects of the process of the project. That essay is not placed on the website, but the reflective pieces are published.
Ultimately, the team presents the project to the class and a panel of judges, people recruited by Herron to give the students constructive feedback about all aspects of their project and the presentation. Students field questions from the judges and classmates about their ideas as well as the process of researching and creating the various parts of the presentation.
Herron developed this project as part of a University of Findlay course, which was funded by a Library of Congress grant. The Lima Senior students in Herron’s class earn college credit for completing this English course. Because of this project and other ways Herron routinely utilizes technology, she is definitely one of Lima City Schools’ Innovation Exemplars!
If your computer or laptop is connected to a projector you can use your computer while projecting other content on via your projector. The process is simple, but you will want to try it before you intend to do it in front of your class.
Once you have done that, the screen that is projected is different than what is showing on your screen. Move your cursor to the right or left until you see which direction it connected. On your main screen, open what you want to project, then click and hold to drag a different site/screen onto the projector and interact with it independently of whatever is shown on your computer screen.
*To disconnect the second screen, click PC screen only.
Here’s a video of the process:
Last, here’s an article and video to help you do this:
One of the best parts of Christmas–or vacations, reunions, or maybe life in general–is looking at photos to remember the good times. Thanks to technology, creating those memories is easier than ever. Most cell phones take better pictures than the point and shoot Kodaks of previous eras, but knowing how to use them and how to shoot a visually strong photo makes all the difference. Getting great shots involves both knowing how to use your equipment and knowing how to compose a memorable picture. The articles below offer suggestions that may help.
The basics, especially for shooting with a phone: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/good-pictures-phone-tips Different brands of phones offer different features, but there are many commonalities so this is a good start. This article explains some basics. Looking up articles or videos about the camera on your specific phone will offer more specific directions.
Photographing Christmas lights: https://www.nyip.edu/photo-articles/photography-tutorials/how-to-take-great-photos-of-holiday-lights Photographing lights can be challenging. This article offers a variety of practical hints for getting the shot you want
Pictures of groups of people: https://expertphotography.com/great-group-photo/ Holiday get-togethers lead to pictures of people gathered together. Candids can be fun, but learning how to take an outstanding group picture makes the memories even better.
Google photos: here are guides for Google photos, which you are probably using if you’re shooting with an Android camera or you have your photos backing up to Google.
The Beginner’s Guide to Google Photos https://www.theedublogger.com/google-photos-guide/
Get Started with Google Photos https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6220402?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
Apple (iPad/iPhone) photos: A variety of hints and how-tos specifically for Apple users is on the Apple site https://support.apple.com/explore/taking-managing-photos
Liberty teachers Beth Bartels and Taylor Halliday fearlessly left their comfort zones to encourage students to explore computer logic during Lima City Schools’ Hour of Code celebration.
Bartels and Halliday run an Explorer group focused on careers at Liberty Arts Magnet. After they attended the Staff Hour of Code event in November, they realized that coding as a career would be an excellent program for their Explorers. The first stage of the meeting involved the students creating and “running” a live-action program using signs and a grid taped on the floor. With the help of LCS Technology Integration coach Jeannine Jordan, the students were introduced to programming loops and if/then statements in a giggle-filled simulation. Following that, the students and the teachers explored the Hour of Code site, trying a variety of programs.
Both teachers use regularly use technology in their classrooms, especially Schoology. For example, paper and pencil reviews have become Schoology assignments in Halliday’s dance class, and Bartels’ drama classes often record performances for sharing and critique.
Mrs. Bartels, Mrs. Halliday and the students had a great afternoon exploring coding via the live-action game and the Hour of Code website. To see the options on the website, go to http://wordpress.limacityschools.org/hourofcode/– and if you are interested in trying the live-action game, contact Jeannine at firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
How can iPads improve my teaching? That’s the question many people in our district asked when they got a new iPad last year. For David Stein, having an iPad completely transformed how he directs Lima Senior’s orchestra.
Instead of carrying around pages and pages of musical scores, Stein directs from scores that he’s uploaded to his iPad. “First, I scan my scores and turn them into PDFs,” he explained, “then upload them to Google Drive.” From there, Google Drive integrates with a musical app that makes it simple to direct the orchestra from the iPad. He can quickly make notes on the score as well as turn pages with a brief touch of the screen.
Another perk of directing this way is that during performances, he has all his scores in performance order ready to go instead of having multiple scores to maneuver and page through.
“This is so much easier than anything I’ve tried before,” Stein claimed. “I wouldn’t want to go back to being surrounded by pages and pages of music!”
Do you know someone who uses technology successfully in their classroom? Maybe someone who has figured out a way to simplify or improve a process by integrating technology–maybe even you? Let Jeannine know at email@example.com to help us identify the next Spartan Innovation Exemplar!