Local teachers and students teamed-up together this week in the AT&T Classroom to “hack” teaching and learning. Supported by a contribution from the AT&T Foundation, the goal of the event was to "hack" how traditional classroom instruction occurs by introducing teachers to a variety of digital tools to differentiate instruction and to also promote students’ use of twenty-first century skills for critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. During the initial professional development sessions, teachers worked with RCET staff and Mr. Dave Ternent, STEM teacher at Kimpton Middle School (Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools), who introduced the teachers to tools for design, 3D modeling, programming, and immersive experiences. Teachers then re-designed a lesson they had previously done with traditional media to now incorporate a variety of digital tools and applications. Students from grades 1-12 joined teachers this week in the AT&T Classroom to explore the tools and to field-test the newly designed projects and lessons. The newly designed projects reflected a range of tools including Google Cardboard, Tinkercad, SketchUp, Scratch, The Foos, Popplet, Padlet, Buncee, and Lucidpress.
During the event, teachers and students also had the opportunity to explore several apps for virtual and augmented reality including Microsoft Hololens, a headset that functions as a holographic computer allowing a user to interact with 3D images and high-definition holograms.
Teachers and students reflections from the hackathon can be viewed on a Padlet wall at https://goo.gl/LYPeIs.
This week’s hackathon builds from Kent State’s SpedApps project that focuses on the use of mobile applications in Special Education. The SpedApps project seeks to provide training and resources to educators and families for using mobile apps to support teaching and learning with students of all ability levels. You can learn more about SpedApps at the project website at http://spedapps.kent.edu/