On Friday, March 13, Nancy Diamond, Heidi Lappi, and Jaclyn Passanante presented the different strategies they use to increase student learning and engagement through the strategic use of various technologies. The sessions were well attended, and participants took notes and asked questions with regard to how they could replicate the processes that led to such high student engagement.
Nancy Diamond, art teacher and department chair at North High School demonstrated how ninth grade students use VoiceThread to explain the various techniques they chose to use in their own artwork that they uploaded to the site. She shared how the AP class uses a class blog as a tool to research artists and comment on a variety of different areas. Lastly, she highlighted how students are now using Google Apps for Domains, in particular Google Sites, to create a sustainable four year digital portfolio. Her blog for the Tech Expo presentation provides links to the various projects she shared.
Jaclyn Passanante, kindergarten teacher at Lakewood Elementary School, “wowed” the audience with a multitude of ways in which the SMART Board can be used to engage our youngest learners throughout the school day. Examples she shared in her presentation, “The SMART Way to Enhance the Kindergarten Curriculum” included Lunch Choice, Morning Message, Weather Chart, Letter of the Day/Week (including the hyperlink to the Starfall website), the “trace it, drag it, write it” and more. Her explanation and modeling of how these tools have transformed her classroom were certainly show stoppers.
Heidi Lappi, who also led a standing-room only workshop at last year’s Tech Expo, presented this year on the many ways in which wikis, Google Apps and forms, digital video, and discussion threads can positively impact students in any level of class. By highlighting the work of both her freshmen and seniors, she provided the audience with concrete examples of how these technologies can significantly engage students and improve student learning. Heidi’s presence on stage and the examples she shared kept the audience engaged despite the late hour of the day. A review and summary of her presentation is featured in the LHRIC Model Schools’ Blog.