From the Library:
Incorporating projects that use technology into their classroom curriculum has been standard for Moreau Catholic High School teachers for years, but the expansion to ubiquitous computer access with 1 to 1 laptops has spurred classroom teachers to new and more innovative uses of technology to advance the learning of their students. Now in the fourth year of our laptop program, teachers design more and more curriculum using technology tools which support collaboration, publication of student work, creative problem solving and the authentic practice of skills and research habits.
Christology students are using their story telling skills and their knowledge of the gospels to re-tell the nativity story as graphic novels using the application Comic Life in Mr. Hannon's classes. Comic Life lets students demonstrate their understanding of the different versions of the Christmas story as told in the gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew and apply historical criticism to the differences in the ways that the gospels approach the same events. Mr. Hannon's project is highlighted online in a Teacher Feature video.
Elsewhere in the Theology Department, Ms. Armstrong's Peace and Conflict Study students completed a final project of a "mural" that asked them to design a forum to display their understanding of conflicts around the world which are being addressed by young people. Murals which used both downloaded images and original student art were augmented with a video created by student videographers which featured interviews of their classmates discussing conflicts around the globe and the work being done to alleviate them. In addition, a student designed website was created to host images of the murals, the video and further student reflections.
Students in Chinese 4 are busy teleporting and flying around campus. Well, the OpenSim campus that is. OpenSim is a 3D virtual world, like Second Life, built by software designers in Taiwan specifically for Ms. Chen and Moreau students. This virtual world of Chinese culture enables students to explore locations while speaking Chinese. An airport, hotel, street, and park are just a few of the locales students can visit and interact with one another in conversations around these themes.
This summer, Ms. Chen trained 200 teachers from around the United States on OpenSim. She hopes it will eventually become a place for students at different high schools studying Chinese to practice the Chinese language in context. Until then, Mariners are the first inhabitants of this new virtual world!
Help! How do I get the regression equation? Help! Can you help me understand how I find the solution of the curve? Over in the Math Department, these are familiar questions being asked in Mr. Kaufman's AP Calculus Class. What makes these questions different is that they are being asked online using Moodle, Moreau's course management system. Mr. Kaufman's Moodle course for AP Calculus includes a forum where students can ask classmates for help with homework and test preparation. Students are empowered to take on the role of teacher and the content is reinforced through the act of explaining. The availability of online forums for help any time of day gives students the opportunity to seek and offer help in a "just in time" mode.
In the English Department, students have been blogging away! With the goal to develop an individual and unique voice through the written word, every student has created a blog about a topic of interest to them. Hair, cars, baseball, ethnic foods, religion, and poetry are just a few topics students are exploring. Students write two paragraphs every week and complement the text with videos, images, and links. Students are also responsible for following and commenting on three of their classmates' blogs. You can learn more about this assignment by going to the Moreau Catholic website and watching the Teacher Feature video!