One of our district’s four strategic goals states, “Utilizing technology effectively as a tool, students will communicate, construct learning, and demonstrate problem-solving and decision-making skills.” As part of fulfilling that promise, teachers have been exploring how different tools in the district’s digital toolbox can be used to increase student engagement and learning. Tools available include Google Applications for Domains (both a teacher only and a teacher/student domain), district sponsored blogs, wiki’s, voicethread, and more. Ms. Lappi’s high school marine biology class and Ms. Quinson’s eighth grade English class have recently used these digital tools in two very different, yet engaging, projects.
Students in Ms. Lappi’s marine biology course at North High School used the district’s Google Apps tool to create presentations on a variety of topics. Using the presentation module, students were able to collaborate “anytime/anywhere” on the presentation, including the ability to have multiple students working on the same presentation at the same time. Ms. Lappi then embedded these projects into her site. Ms. Lappi commented, “During class, they had laptops for two days. I was able to go through each presentation on my site on my computer…and they know to go back to the website to study.” The site can be viewed at https://sites.google.com/a/ccsd.edu/lappi/home/marine-biology/marine-ecosystems
Students in Ms. Quinson’s English class used a district blog and “comment press” to create an interactive reading/collaboration of “Turn of the Screw” which can be read online at http://blogs.ccsd.edu/quinson-turn. Regarding the unique nature of this interactive project, Quinson commented, “The students are reading and annotating The Turn of the Screw by Henry James on line TOGETHER. Something that no one could ever do before.”