t’s been a busy and productive year for Gillispie’s educational technology program.
For example, just this morning four first graders presented independently researched multimedia reports on topics of their own choosing, including coral reef habitats, apes, submarines, and snakes. In front of a packed house of students, teachers, administrators, and parents, Alex P., Madeline L., Maxfield P., and Ben B. orally presented custom research slide decks they had created using the program KidPix.
In Grades K-4, students have used technology to learn about continents, share poetry, and take virtual field trips:
• Kindergarten children accessed video to support their Captain Cook projects • Grade 1 classrooms “visited” Antarctica research stations and discussed how people survive in such extreme environments • Grade 2 students worked in teams to research European geography and demographics before presenting their findings to students and parents at their “Taste of Europe” • Grade 3 classrooms used Keynote to communicate their poetry • Grade 4 students “visited” South America using Google Earth
Additionally, Grade 5 researchers viewed the Declaration of Independence and other primary source historical documents on their iPads, and Grade 6 students explored the rights and responsibilities of digital citizenship.
Every Tuesday morning, teachers receive a weekly Tech Tip to help them expand their teaching toolboxes and hone their professional skills. In addition, teachers have taken on the role of students during on-site workshops (e.g., the best online cultural and arts resources) and regional conferences (Computer Using Educators in Palm Springs).
Such role reversal emphasizes the Gillispie lesson that life-long learners are the best life-long teachers.
Laura Jean Moore Technology Teacher