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!