Board sees learning support tech demo

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com
Fifth-grader Kira Pohl demonstrated while Haven Benedict explained to Greencastle-Antrim School Board members how technology is used in learning support classrooms. At left is Brandon Hull, student school board representative. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board recently learned how technology is used in fourth- and fifth-grade learning support classrooms during a meeting that also included information on proposed changes to the high school program of studies and a presentation from 11th-graders about their plans for a senior class trip.

Teacher Haven Benedict told the board about technology while Kira Pohl, a fifth-grader, used an iPad to demonstrate what she was talking about.

For example, if Kira were writing an essay on bears, she could ask Siri how long bears live, Benedict said. Students also can use devices to spell words, dictate their work, open applications or listen to Podcasts.

"There are many ways technology strengthens what's going on in our classrooms," Benedict said.

Apps like Spelling City let students to practice spelling words and learn through fun, engaging games. With Google Classroom, students can submit their assignments then Benedict can grade them and provide feedback.

 Program of studies 

The program of studies is the comprehensive scheduling tool used by parents and students, according to Dr. Ed Rife, G-AHS principal. He presented the two changes for 2020-21— one in community service and the other in photojournalism — that the board will vote on at its Feb. 6 meeting.

High school students are required to complete 30 hours of community service and they currently give oral presentations about what they did. Each high school student is now issued a iPad under the district's Equal Technologies Opportunities initiative so the proposed change is for them make iMovies about their community service rather than an oral report.

Students in photojournalism I work on the school yearbook and some students opt to participate a second year so photojournalism II is being added. The second-year students will help lead and train students in photojournalism I, Rife said.

They're going to Disney World 

Rife described the Class of 2021 as "really on the ball" and officers talked to the board about plans for their class trip to Florida Nov. 8 to 13. The presentation featured Andrew Jackson, president; Levi Bingaman, vice president; Naveen Thomas Ninan, secretary; and Hannah Stull, treasurer.

They surveyed their classmates and of the 195 who responded, 151 are interested in a trip to Florida that will include Universal, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

Jackson noted they coordinated sports schedules with Vicki Ritchey, athletic director, and planned the trip around Veteran's Day so students will miss less school.

The board will vote on the trip at the Feb. 6 meeting.