Center Grove Field Trip

ipads in class

We went to Greenwood, IN and toured the high school and a middle school and elementary school in CGCSC. We saw how these schools were incorporating technology in to their classrooms. The high school had one-to-one iPad to student ratio and we just observed in those classrooms. In the middle school, most rooms had a class set of technology whether it was older netbooks or iPads. In these rooms we got a chance to talk with the students. We were here a brief period of time, but we didn’t hear from our tour guides as much as we heard from the students. In the elementary school, only the kindergartners were one-to-one and everyone else had access to other class sets of technology.

I really enjoyed getting to talk to the students. They were really insightful and seemed to enjoy talking to us. The elementary was definitely my favorite because the kids were so willing to share with you (plus I think elementary is the cutest). I didn’t feel these tour guides did quite as well has the ones on the field trip to Columbus, IN but that may have been because I couldn’t hear them as well. It was interesting to see the high schoolers with their iPads. The tour guide mentioned that since they’ve converted to this kind of teaching they don’t see as many students disengaged as there were before iPads. I thought this was a pretty good stat.

This connects almost everything we’ve been talking about in our CEL classes. They used technology before, during, and after class. I do think it has a lot of great benefits. As far as connections with my other classes, it definitely facilitates formative assessment. The technology can provide instant feedback and let the students and teachers know where the students stand with the material. It also helps to differentiate and create hands on learning experiences for the students.

I have two big questions for the schools that are converting. How much push back did you get from administrators, teachers, parents, and the community? Also, how difficult was it to make the transition?

(Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/7691519996/?rb=1)

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Columbus, IN Field Trip

We saw how an elementary school in Columbus, IN has become a project based, magnet school and how NewTech High School has blossomed in the Columbus area. We got to observe the students in both schools working in their classrooms. We walked through the elementary school classes and saw how they moved through their stations and worked with the technology. At NewTech we got a tour of the school and learned about how the students work during the school day. We also got to sit in on a project introduction and see how the project came from the community and had real life consequences. 

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I was interested in hearing about the conversion of the elementary school, I found it interesting how the community has embraced it and they’ve really expanded. However, during the observation section of the field trip I felt like we came on a bad day because half of the school was testing and we didn’t get to see how the older kids worked on project based learning. 

NewTech was a different experience for me. I really enjoyed the tour and discussion when we first arrived and before we left. I also found the project introduction extremely interesting. I felt this school did a better job and kept us more engaged during the tour. This experience actually changed my opinion on project based learning. When I left the elementary school, I wasn’t so sure about it, but now I’m a fan.

Both of these schools showed me that the CEL program is a valid program and is teaching us skills we will actually use in the classroom. Not everything they were doing used technology, but it did enhance the classwork and add an extra dimension to the assignments/projects. I really liked this experience and I’m glad we had the opportunity, but I’m curious why we aren’t learning about these other school atmospheres in other classes? I think this is valuable information and honestly there aren’t many of us in the CEL program and I think everyone should get this opportunity. 

(Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/BMS_classrooms.jpg)