There is so much I love about this unit. It has happened each year I have been at Hamlin, but as it is exemplary student-centered learning in action – it’s as different every year as the students who make the learning happen.
This year Rachel Davis did an incredible job in documenting the work and reflections of the Grade 1 students and their teachers, enjoy –
Thanks to all the teachers that came together and designed this learning experience!
Directive: design a piece that could be given to a loved one during the holidays. Students were allowed to look at websites like Instructables for inspiration, but if they chose to download a template they had to modify the design in a significant way.
At Hamlin, digital citizenship is interwoven into the social emotional learning components of our program.
In K-4, teachers offer a digital citizenship lesson once a month as a part of Toolbox. In 5th and 6th grade, Ms. Beck and Ms. Davis team up to regularly deliver digital citizenship classes, and in the 7th and 8th grades, advisory teachers check in with their students and teach digital citizenship during advisory time at least once a month.
At home this week, we ask that you consider taking the Device Free Dinner Challenge! Having family dinners together, without your devices, helps model what a healthy relationship to technology looks like. It also gives the benefit of making deeper connections with your child(ren) and is correlated to better nutrition, better academic performance, and fewer behavioral problems.
October is Cyberbullying Awareness Month. This school year, you never know what might bubble up as the heady brew of hormones, relationships, and technology is stirred. Digital drama will play out in texts, on social media, and on popular teen websites. From forums that let kids pose hurtful questions to self-destructing messaging apps, new technologies enable novel ways to get attention, provoke, and try out online personas — and they go viral fast.
At Hamlin, we’re constantly striving to innovate in the classroom, with the benefit of students and evidence based pedagogy at the heart of our choices. ATLIS, a new organization started only two years ago, offers a great conference focusing on education technology specifically in Independent Schools. I’m grateful to the Hamlin community for sponsoring me as I pursued this excellent professional development opportunity.
Ideas around integrating maker spaces into curriculum
How to create relevant and timely digital citizenship curriculum
The future of education technology in Independent Schools
Strategies around providing professional development to faculty and staff
I also teamed up with Kelsey Vrooman, one of the founding members of ATLIS, and presented a Deep Dive (1h45min) presentation about Blended Learning (BL). With around 20 attendees, we had a fruitful discussion about BL and how various models are being applied within Independent Schools currently.
Having returned, my mind is now buzzing with ideas! Thank you, Hamlin, for the opportunity to connect with like minded educators and learn from some of the most accomplished education technology leaders in the country.
We’re 3/4 of the way through the first trimester in 2D Digital Art, and we’ve been working on a number of projects including:
Drawing/tracing in photoshop
Face swap (taking one person’s face and seamlessly merging it with another person’s face)
My Favorite Things (iMovie video)
Recovering the classics contest
Many of the projects require 7-8 45 minute classes to complete, including at least one session of in-class instruction and ongoing support. This semester, on average, each project took 5-6 classes to complete. Over 80% of the students had little to no experience using Photoshop before this class. How is it that learning was able to be sped up while accounting for the various levels of expertise? By using blended learning!
How it works in the 2D Digital Art Classroom:
The assignment is posted on the 2D Digital Art online class page (HamliNet)
The assignment includes at least one tutorial video, and the rubric:
As students begin completing the project, a new project is added, so those students can move ahead in their work.
Teacher time in the classroom is mainly spent checking in with students 1:1 or in small groups, reviewing how the project is going, troubleshooting, brainstorming, and providing feedback.
Rachel Davis, Middle School Science Teacher and iPad Coordinator, Maggie Jo Feldman, MS Art Teacher, and Alison Trujillo, MS Spanish Teacher, teamed up for a fabulous Earth Day project! Along with the Grade 6 students, they released the Pacific Chorus Frog at Mountain Lake, making it the second native species reintroduced as part of our efforts to restore the ecosystem at the lake.
Here is a brief interview with the team recapping the experience:
Q: What grade level were you working with? A: Grade 6
Q: What were your goals going into the project? A: To raise awareness for the students so they could understand the human impacts on Mountain Lake. As they learned about it, they wanted to inform the public about these issues and the ways that people could help to restore the lake. Another goal we was to collaborate between subjects: Science, Art and Spanish.
Q: How did you roll out the project? A: Leading up to Earth Day, we took a half-day wherestudents designed beautiful and informative images that are on painted wood panels. During that time, they also created Spanish and English movies to explain the issues the images represented. Visitors to the National Park can scan QR codes attached to the panels to view the videos.
Q: If you were to do the project again what (if anything) would you change? A: The time line was really tough. Next time, we’d like more time to connect with the park for planning purposes. This project would also benefit from more preparation time given to the students for cutting and designing the wooden boards. Looking ahead, we think we’ll also put more of an emphasis on teaching about the history of public art.