I have been in Lac qui Parle County all week. It’s a beautiful area where I’ve jokingly said you could drop a can of corn and find a full crop the next season. I was working with the LqP EDA on talking with local businesses about broadband. I was also lucky enough to check out what’s been happening in the schools based with the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) project.
I want to frame the notes saying that school Superintendent Renae Tostenson points out that the projects are very school-focused because the local community decided that the school and area students were the top priority. The hope is that now that the schools are using technology, others will follow.
My notes are a little jumbled – but I wanted to lead with the video from one of the students. Better than anything I could say, I think the student (Jim Daily) describes the difference technology can make to the students. (He is the personality behind the school news “channel” Eagle Eye news.) It doesn’t just make things faster – it opens doors…
and here’s the general presentation
And read on for a video of a teacher on how she uses the Chromebook in the classroom.
Online Presentation Tools in the Classroom
Social Studies in LqPV are working on American History. They start with geography basics. The kids use the Presentation App in Google Drive to complete and assignment on Lewis and Clark. It turned out that many of the students hadn’t traveled West much so this was a good opportunity for them to research the area and get a feel for the West.
The kids used photos, videos and PPT to present the finished product. It’s good for building technology skills and getting students to do public speaking.
They used the same tools to do a presentation on Latin American Culture in 8th grade. They also had to use their Chromebook to video tape their own public speaking. It was fun for the teacher to see some personalities that came through a little stronger on video than in a classroom setting. Also a great to build skills that they will use in the workplace now and in the future.
They use Wevideos.com.
Online Streaming of School Events
A classroom takes on the job of creating the Eagle Eye News, te local news for the school. The classroom has different personalities in the room. Some kids are very outgoing. Some are born camera people. That has developed into doing live streaming of the events.
The fans and friends are able to watch events from afar. The families of the opposing teams are able to watch the games from home too. They work with local radio to promote and complement the events.
The do athletic events, homecoming coronation, other events.
The archive has been very popular as well.
They are going to be doing local commercials that will run on the school channel, YouTube and are working on showing them other places – like in the local cinema before the movie.
The students note that being a part of a project like this really makes a difference in terms of helping them connection with their peers and preparing them for job interviews and jobs
Steaming events does not reduce attendance at the actual events. (I wrote more about them last year.)
Chromebooks for 6th Graders
I was very interested in what kids were doing with the Chromebooks in schools so I was delighted when we really got a 101 lesson on what they do in the classroom every day. Using computers promotes a lot of solitary work and allows for customized lessons. Each student logs into access an electronic “book” and that book can be modified slightly to challenge all students at the level that best suits them. The teacher tells a better story…
iPads in Elementary Schools
Blandin funding helped leverage funding from Monsanto to get iPads in the grades schools. They found that students increased 12.1% in meets and exceeds expectations. The students used them for math and they found that participating students improved their math scores by almost 2 years!
Teachers are looking at Edmo that will help students continue learning outside the traditional school day. They also use https://www.educreations.com.
Tech Engineering Center
They are creating an engineering center where students really learn about using technology in the workplace. They have 3D printing for CAD design and other uses. Kids have made cool things like a holder for a smartphone so you can take videos. They work on precision ag projects.
They work with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. They have started a robotics league.
They are working on promoting the event to all ages and to boys and girls. The program realizes on community mentors.