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Phoenix teachers ready to use new technology in classrooms

Thirteen teachers in the Phoenix Central School District will have a new learning tool at their disposal when classes resume in September.

Joelle Hendry, a second-grade teacher at Michael Maroun Elementary School, uses a tablet to create a lesson plan for her students. Hendry was one of 13 teachers in the Phoenix Central School District who recently received training on the use of Android tablets in the classroom. The professional development opportunity was provided by Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services staff.
Joelle Hendry, a second-grade teacher at Michael Maroun Elementary School, uses a tablet to create a lesson plan for her students. Hendry was one of 13 teachers in the Phoenix Central School District who recently received training on the use of Android tablets in the classroom. The professional development opportunity was provided by Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services staff.

To align with the district’s vision and maintain its forward-thinking strategies, educators from each building recently participated in a five-day Flipped Learning Boot Camp, which incorporated Android tablets as supplemental learning devices.

The boot camp was coordinated through Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services and led by computer education coordinator Jennifer Laubscher.

The Flipped Learning model allows teachers to create podcasts, videos and lectures that correspond with their lesson plan. Teachers compile the material electronically and make it available to students as an additional resource.

“In the Flipped Learning model, you are handing over that instruction piece to the individual,” Laubscher said. “It’s more of a self-guided lecture, so they can pause, take notes and process the information individually rather than the whole group.”

To better understand the new technology and the Flipped Learning Model, the boot camp taught teachers how to produce videos, where to find content, and how to use the content to spark students’ interests.

At the lower grade levels, students will rotate through stations to reinforce the content in a variety of ways, Laubscher said.

For second-grade teacher Joelle Hendry, incorporating technology into the classroom keeps the students actively involved in learning.

“It’s much more engaging,” Hendry said of the Flipped Learning model. “The kids have more control over their own learning. They can access different apps and utilize other resources to make learning fun.”

Science teacher Rick Heffernan said the tablets will be a great tool for older students as well. “This is the kind of technology that kids are using on a regular basis outside of the classroom, so it’s nice to have that offered in school too,” he said. “The video tutorials will help reinforce the material covered during the lecture part of the class. It’s another piece of technology that will benefit our students.”

To ensure that students are getting the most out of the Flipped Learning model, teachers will continue their collaboration with personnel from OCB’s Instructional Support Services throughout the school year.

They will meet periodically to plan, consult and co-teach different lessons.