Below are some of the initiatives our school is developing that makes us cutting edge:
1. Project-Based Learning: This year, our PLT groups focused on creating projects for our students. Though they haven't all been fully implemented yet, some of our projects include creating a home that runs on green energy, a nutritional unit that focuses on educating our student body and evaluating the effect of that education, and creating an art show for the local Masonic Home. We expect to have the projects uploaded to the wiki in February. If you would like to explore our projects more, click here.
2. ePortfolios: Our students are all developing websites for their portfolios. Because we are a career and technical school, this is a very important initiative. Our students can use their portfolios to showcase the skills they learned in their career majors. For example, our electronics students can show robotics they have built, Ad Art can showcase their graphic art, and Entertainment Technologies can house their movies and songs. Though they are not finished yet, you can see some of them here.
3. eLearning: This year, we are also starting to offer eLearning classes. The first two classes we will be offering are prep classes in English and Math for the Accuplacer College Entrance test this April. We hope to help our students test out of basic skills college classes. The classes will be held virtually. Students will meet twice weekly in a synchronous class in addition to completing units and assessments online. If the classes are received well, we are planning to offer some enrichment classes in the next year.
4. Open Wifi: We have two open wifi's available to our students. This is an asset because our students can and do use their touch devices in class. My students will use their iPod touches and iPads readily when our other computers are not available. Cell phones and electronic devices are not "forbidden" and are used often.
5. Access to technology: Our school has 1,400 students. We have five Mac labs, 5 iPad labs, and three computer labs. In addition to that, almost all of our career majors have a complete lab in their rooms. (iMacs for Advertising Art and Entertainment Technologies, and PC labs for Computer Science, Engineering, Cosmetology and the rest). Each classroom has an Elmo, projector, and ThinkPad that connects to the overhead. All classrooms have at least 3 computers, and some have 15 or more.
6. Assistive Technologies: We have many programs that assist our staff. We have the Read 180 program to measure our students Lexile scores and reading improvement. We have Pearson Limelight and Inform to help prepare our students for standardized tests and to measure their learning. We have Criterion to assist the students with writing skills and google apps to make integrating medias safe and easy.
Needless to say, I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic school and faculty. It is so exciting to see what our staff will dream up next, where we will take our students, and what initiatives are coming down the road. What are some of the things your school is doing to become a 21st Century school?