First Posted: 5/19/2008
For some Lake-Lehman students, school has never been so much fun.
Thanks to a Classrooms for the Future state grant of over $200,000 this school year, eight classrooms at Lake-Lehman Junior and Senior High School have been equipped with technology, including 24 student laptop computers, one teacher laptop computer and an interactive promethium board.
The school also received video, digital and Web cameras. Cave’s Research Writing classes utilized the technology to create podcasts to promote the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Podcasts are MP3 audio files posted on the internet for others to listen to and can be downloaded onto a computer, iPod or other mobile device.
Currently, the students are helping the SPCA by creating vodcasts, or video versions of podcasts, and mini documentaries. In the future, they will make mini Wikis, Web sites or similar online resources which allow users to add and edit content collectively. The students will build mini Wikis on various topics relating to the SPCA, animal testing, animal cruelty, the use of animals in circuses and animal cloning. Cave says students’ grades have noticeably improved in all of her classes since her classroom received the technology.
"It’s amazing the difference having the technology now," Cave said. "I see a total turnaround in my students. It’s almost as if they’re learning without realizing it."
The students say they look forward to Research Writing class because the technology makes it more enjoyable and interactive. They do not become bored as easily in regular classrooms.
Ninth-grader Jamie Aldrich likes that he can interact with what Cave is teaching instead of just staring at a chalkboard. Claire Sesson, a ninth grade student, feels the computers allow her to work at her own pace.
Freshman Nikki Snyder says the way the class uses the computers is what makes it so special. "It’s different because we’re using the computers in a different way than we normally do," Snyder said. "Instead of just typing papers and surveys, we make podcasts and videos. With the technology advancing in the modern world, we’re advancing with it."
Prior to taking the Research Writing class, many of the students did not even know what a podcast was. Cave says this new technology will help them in college and their careers.
In addition to their research on the SPCA, Cave’s students held a monetary and goods drive for the organization. The students were required to each solicit three businesses for donations.
They opened the drive up to the entire school and Lake-Lehman School District to collect as many resources as possible.
Eight more classrooms will be equipped with the new technology through the Classrooms For the Future grant next year.