From Traditional to Tech Savvy

From Traditional to Tech Savvy photo thumbnail114579
School Assignments Evolve with Changing Times

Two Valley Stream Central High School District teachers presented alongside Nassau BOCES Model Schools Program Specialist Chrissy Breglia at the 21st annual Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies Conference. Held on March 18 at the Hilton Huntington in Melville, this event was based on the theme, “Unleashing Talent.” It provided an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices and pressing issues for education professionals.

Central High School social studies teacher Alisha Varian and special education teacher Joanna Katz joined Breglia to lead a session on ways in which technology has been successfully integrated into the curriculum to increase student engagement. Their presentation, “Redefining the Research Paper,” specifically focused on the use of the Microsoft TEAMS and other digital tools that help students be better organized and work more efficiently. 

Every year Ms. Varian’s Government class members complete an assignment in which they research a social problem and create a persuasive essay highlighting opposing sides and viewpoints. In previous years, students often struggled to keep track of work and progress and find time to meet in person for collaborative tasks. The trio of educators agreed that this project could be elevated and transformed with the integration of technology, and introduced Microsoft TEAMS to create a “paperless research paper.” 

The TEAMS management system is similar to Google Classroom, and addresses the needs of all the learners in the class with visual and audio components as well as organizational resources. The teachers also described their use of Padlet software for students to create and store their notes online, as well as the Flipgrid video discussion platform.

“Joanna and I were excited to try new technology tools to prepare our students for college, build student engagement and collaboration, and to personalize their learning experience,” Ms. Varian said.