We as a society become more technologically advanced with each passing decade, abandoning the tools of a previous generation and moving on to faster and more efficient ways of doing things. After all, the prevalence of cell phones, laptops and iPods in the backpacks of today’s students are an upgrade from the notebooks and Trapper Keepers that kids made due with in years past.
The Mamaroneck School District has seized the opportunity to integrate some of these new technologies—and student’s ease in utilizing them—into the classroom to provide greater learning opportunities for students at all levels.
Eighth-grade students in Michael Sammartano and Vassili Fantzis’ Earth Science classes at will be using iPads in the classroom this year as part of a pilot program to combine technology with content.
“We can take a more traditional lesson and differentiate it,” said Sammartano at a school board meeting in late September.
“By simply allowing kids to work at their own pace and speed and look at things from a different perspective rather than be delivered information from the front of the room is going to have a huge impact on students…especially students who have difficulty learning in the traditional ways,” he said.
The lesson plans—geared toward more independent learning from students—will not only help make teachers more available to assist students one-on-one, but working on iPads will provide a paperless way for kids to take notes.
Over at , students will be able to log on remotely and take a class this fall, without leaving their desk. The new online learning course called “Making a Lasting Impression: Our Architecture Across the Centuries and Today,”—was piloted by Mamaroneck High School Architectural Drawing Teacher Nick Cucchiarella and will make use of a variety of web tools to teach architecture from as far back as 5,000 years.
Mamaroneck was selected along with four other schools by the Putnam-Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to participate in the pilot program. The class will be open to 16 students from eight different school districts.
Students will watch videos, read articles and do online research as part of their syllabus, said Cucchiarella via webcam at a September board meeting. The class will culminate with a field trip to NYC, where students will meet with World Trade Center site architects and engineers.