Monday, September 22, 2014

Southern Indiana Schools, Part 1

On Friday, September 19, 2014, I visited eight schools in three southern Indiana counties.  Traveling with me was Andy Bosk, Director of Career Connections for the Indiana University School of Education.  This is the first in a series of posts about those visits.

Pleasant Ridge Elementary School in the Greater Clark County Schools is located in Charlestown, Indiana.  I first came to know of Pleasant Ridge through my cousin, Donna Atwood, who is the Special Needs Coordinator.

Donna Atwood in READ 180 classs
In this K-5 school, most of the 450 students use some sort of tablet or laptop in their learning.  The city of Charlestown has invested in wi-fi throughout the community, and in instances where a student's family lacks Internet access at home, there are multiple sites, including at the schools, where they can get what they need.

I was impressed with the quick and ready use the students made of their laptops, especially in Mr. Riddle's fourth grade class.  After some time of general instruction, Mr. Riddle directed his students to get out their laptops, which they readily did.  They knew what the procedure was, and it was clear that this was no show.  This was a regular part of their daily lives.

4th grade students with books and laptops
Mr. Riddle's 4th grade class

The students at Pleasant Ridge use both traditional books and technology-based resources, and this seems to be a good mix, especially since we are still learning about the pros and cons of tech-based approaches to learning.

We also saw Ms. Lawrence's second grade class and Ms. Aebersold's Kindergarten class.  Here the students engaged in both tech-based learning and in multiple learning stations.  It was in the 2nd grade class that we learned several of the students want to be teachers, which, from their enthusiasm, seemed to me a very good thing!

Ms. Lawrence's 2nd grade class, where students are inspired to be teachers!

Ms. Aebersold's Kindergartners explore the world through technology.
At the end of the our time, I was able to get a picture with the principal, Ms. Sara Porter, and my cousin, Donna.

The true tale of Pleasant Ridge is told in the smiles.  Ms. Porter is excited about her opportunity to lead this school, where the teachers have designed themed classrooms to provide a sense of unity and shared culture throughout the building.  With a blend of cutting-edge and traditional instruction preparing these enthusiastic and creative young people, I am eager to see what these students will do in the future!

No comments:

Post a Comment

While I welcome thoughts relevant to discussions of education, comments that are vulgar, insulting, or in any way inappropriate will be deleted.