From West Carteret HS comes the Laptop Learning feedback of the instructional technology facilitator. In her blog entry, “Mobile and Up-dated,” Amy points to several examples of how the laptop and Web 2.0 staff development inspired teaching and learning at WCHS.
One of the most useful items on the laptop is the RAM and the ability for students to complete projects for senior and advanced studies.. One example of this is a student’s advanced studies project. The student in the business area completed a video and research project where she worked with a member of the Carolina Hurricanes staff to create a documentary on the Spirit Squad of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Other projects include integrating the program Moviemaker into the curriculum at WCHS. I have two teachers that have completed videos within their classes. Mrs. Bonnette created videos in her Film Literature Class in which the students had to write, produce and edit their video using the computers and compile them into a format that could be viewed by the students digitally. Mrs. Lutz created Moviemaker projects with her Earth Science classes. Her students created movies to teach their peers about the US National Parks.
We introduced blogging to the staff in a staff development and then we had a few teachers to utilize blogging in their classrooms as a form of journal and discussion. One of the teachers that has begun his own blog is Mr. L. Arnold. He began his blog with his US History class for discussion and has found that the students enjoy discussion on the web more than discussion in the class. Students felt more freedom to speak up in the blog. This has entered the students into and more in depth discussion and facilitated understanding that they may not have received if the blog had not been present.
From Amy’s experience—and the experience of the others in the Laptop Learning Initiative—one thing is clear: The instructional technology facilitators have a handle on the 21st Century technology skills. They are at their best when conditions allow them to exercise their 21st century instructional leadership.