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.
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.