Dynamic Duo

ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) sponsored a series of seven sessions presented by two of the most dynamic educators I’ve ever met: Ben Smith and Jared Mader of the Red Lion School District in PA. I attended the sessions on Creativity and Innovation and Digitizing the Science Classroom: Preparing Students for the Global Society. Rather than “forbidding” students from having cell phones, digital cameras, and iPods in class, these high school teachers (Ben teaches physics and Jared is now the district’s Technology director but is still a chemistry teacher at heart), encourage students to use these tools, along with laptops and probes, in authentic and productive ways. From incorporating digital video into projects to submitting assignments online to communicating via podcasts (and the students create them), their classrooms are infused with creativity that helps students learn science and communicate their learning. it’s obvious that they do a lot of modeling and guiding in their classes, and they were very patient as audience members created their first MP3 files. The website of these EdTechInnovators is a wealth of resources, links to downloads, templates, tutorials, presentations, and examples of student projects that they are generously willing to share with us. Click on the “Resources” link at the top and on the NSTA link in the list of conferences at the bottom.

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