Written by Kevin Johnston

Many teachers at HFS are using technology in a variety of ways to enhance student engagement, encourage student collaboration and give students increased chances to take ownership over their own learning.  Google Classroom has been widely used throughout HFS this year and is growing increasingly popular.  When asked about how he uses Google Classroom in his Physical Science class, Mr. Blevins remarked, ”I’ve used Google Classroom a lot this year. I enjoy it because it allows students the opportunity to work on assignments beyond the classroom.”  He has found it to be especially useful for having student write lab reports, which require extensive time and review.

In her English class, Mrs. Caudill has been using Schoology and some gamification principles to give students choice as they are studying The Odyssey.  As they are reading about one of literature’s ultimate quests, students are completing online missions of their own.  For each mission that Mrs. Caudill assigns her students, they have the choice of multiple challenges to undertake, which earn them ‘xp’ (experience points) towards their grade.  Mrs. Caudill has found that using Schoology as a LMS can be a very effective way in a gamified unit to ensure that all students have access to the resources that they need, whenever they need them.

In Mrs. Frost’s journalism class, students have been producing newspapers using collaboration on Lucid Press and Google Drive.  Editors of the newspaper design each issue’s layouts on Lucid Press and peer edit using one large document over a number of class periods. Writers for the paper share all of their stories on Google Drive in folders for each newspaper section, and students will edit their stories by commenting on those Docs in Drive.

Teachers at HFS are always on the lookout to experiment with new technology that will benefit their classes.  Plickers, PearDeck, Quizlet, EdPuzzle, Actively Learn and Flubaroo are just a few of the other EdTech resources that teachers have been incorporating into their classes, in the hopes of pushing their students to higher levels of learning.