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Teaching the Teacher


Teaching the Teacher

By Justin Cowen

Florence County School District IT Technician

At Florence County School District, not only are the students learning, but so are the teachers and staff! With the recent technology implementations, it became clear that the school district needed to create a training program. Now, about twice a month, a tech training is offered to all district staff. The trainings are a time for staff to learn about websites and resources that available to both themselves and students. They have focused mostly on free “cloud” based websites. These cloud based sites allow students to access their projects and materials anywhere they have a internet connection.

Teachers have used websites like Prezi.com which is a great PowerPoint alternative and Animoto.com, which allows students to create engaging and exciting video slideshows. Staff has also learned how to use Google Apps to allow online collaboration between teachers and students.  

Using these new websites have allowed students to create projects that previously would have been impossible. Instead of just creating a poster about WWII to tape on a wall, students in Amy Johnson’s 8th grade History created interactive posters using Glogster.  Theses “glogs” allowed students to share information, images, videos, and resources online within their classroom. In addition, recently Terri Koehn’s Biology class students created music videos to demonstrate their understanding of assigned topics. Students utilized a collaborative cloud based video editor called WeVideo. The website allowed each student to be on their own netbook, yet still work together as a group. One teacher, Mike Jones, even got rid of book reports all together for a project and had students create a Animoto video to show their comprehension of the material. Students were then able to show theses video off to the class and create excitement about reading!

With all the new technology available to students and staff, learning has taken on a new exciting approach at the Florence County School District.  Staff challenge the students to tackle new ideas while the students challenge the staff to implement new methods of teaching.  As we move forward, the district is excited to see the awesome possibilities made possible with the ever changing technology!

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