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Lanesboro School Board gets technology demonstration

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro Education

Lanesboro High School math teacher Joe Cullen gave the school board a demonstration on how he is utilizing technology in his classes during their meeting on October 16.

Cullen thanked the board for getting the computers into the hands of the students. He said they are coming to class prepared, and it makes a big difference. He demonstrated a graph calculator right on the computer that works very well. Cullen also saves time by not have to write long examples on the board. They can get the lesson and put it right on the computer.

Using a laptop and a Smart Board, Cullen explained what he is trying out with his geometry class. He said he has been doing a “flipped classroom” approach that has gone very well.

For this approach, Cullen has recorded himself going over a lesson, and for homework, the students are required to watch the video. During class time, they do their lesson, and he is available if they have any questions.

“The kids are loving it,” said Cullen. “They get to ask questions. It’s a lot easier, and there is less homework.”

The program is still fairly new, and Cullen is working on some of the glitches. He added that Byron Schools have been using this approach with a lot of success. They have even been able to get rid of their math textbooks.

Cullen uses a site called Moodle to facilitate the videos and the quizzes the students take. He can also keep track of who watches the videos and when.

One of the benefits of the video is that students can pause it when they need to catch up, and they can re-watch it if they feel they need to. “Kids can go through it at their own speed,” said Cullen. “It’s designed to every student.”

There is also a place where kids can use virtual flash cards to quiz themselves, and it keeps track of areas they need to work on.

“Byron says that 97 percent of their students enjoy it,” said Cullen. “And I can see why.”

If things work out well, Cullen may be able to implement the program for a second class next year, as long as he won’t have to do as much work for the geometry. He is also working on the balance between video watching and lecturing.

“I think the role of the teacher is changing,” commented Cullen. “It used to be the teacher was the source of information. Now the information is out there everywhere. They need to take the information and process it.”

Other Business

The board sent out a formal thank you to Tri-County Electric for donating their time and supplies to help fix two light poles at the football field. Superintendent Jeff Boggs explained there were two woodpeckers that were making large holes in the wood of the poles, and the cost to patch the holes would have been at least $450.

Dean John Smith said 40 students that took the PSAT test recently, which helps them get ready for the ACT tests.

The resignation of Barb Campbell, food service worker for many years, was approved, with thanks for her years of service.

Krissy Overland was approved to direct the play again this year.

There will be a special meeting to canvass the election results on November 8 at 6pm.

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