Getting tech savvyPublished 3:48pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Teachers in Hartselle City Schools are learning to embrace electronic devices in the classroom instead of banning them.
To demonstrate this, teachers representing all six city schools will hold its second Tech Night Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Hartselle High School.
Karen Howell, consulting teacher at Hartselle High School, said they are encouraging families of students to come out to the event and see how electronic devices will be used in the classroom.
“This is for everyone in all six schools, from kindergarten to 12th grade,” Howell said. “We will have representatives from Best Buy and Apple experts with samples of products to help parents decide what device might be best for their children.”
Hartselle High teacher Houston Blackwood said the teachers are looking at applications that are web-based so that they can be operated using any type of device.
“We don’t want to promote one device over another,” Blackwood said. “We’re wanting to use programs that can be used on any device. And that’s why we’re looking at web-based applications.
Blackwood will be demonstrating how his classes use Google Drive in his classrooms. He said it’s been good for students collaborating in and out of the classroom.
“The students can work on it anywhere at anytime as long as they have access to the Internet on their device,” Blackwood said. “One student even had a Windows phone and they were still able to pull up Google Drive and work on it at the same time.
“I even had a student who was collaborating with her classmates even though she was in the hospital. It really helps those students who may be home-bound or are out of class that day at school.”
Kristi Greeson, foreign language teacher at HHS, said she an app called Socrative that allows students to directly interact with her during classroom activities. But she added that others were using similar applications.
“Math teachers are even using a program that they use at colleges,” Greeson said. “A teacher can give the students a problem and ask them to show their work. Then at the end, the teacher can share anonymously a student’s solution on the board and they can work through it together.”
Howell encouraged those who came the first time to come again Tuesday to learn even more about the BYOD (bring your own device) policy in the schools.
“We’ve changed a few things up,” Howell said. “I think this is something that we will continue to do each summer.”