High School Efforts Showcased at LearnLaunch Conference

Photo: Students presenting the high school's makerspace at LearnLaunch conference.

Recently, the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference honored Hopkinton High School in their Classroom of the Future showcase.

The conference was co-hosted by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Business School. The showcase specifically highlighted emerging models of teaching learning from local school systems. Students and teachers presented their innovative work with technology to a diverse group conference attendees, including entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, as well as other educators. Hopkinton was the only school system with two entries in the showcase.

Librarian Kirsten Fournier recruited students Sarah Billeter, Lauren Ness, and Maria Jara Baca to represent the informal, do-it-yourself learning offered through the makerspace in the high school library.

Sponsored through a Hopkinton Education Foundation grant, the library’s makerspace provides a non-classroom alternative learning environment. The makerspace fosters inquiry-based learning and hands-on activities for students in 3D printing, fiber arts, paper-crafting, robotics projects, and more. The environment is transforming the library into more than simply an information hub. Also, a club meets regularly in the makerspace to explore STEAM related concepts and other student-determined interests.

Photography teacher Sterling Worrell chaperoned Ana Ali, Caitlyn O’Connor, and Emily Taylor to represent his new smartphone photography course.

Leveraging the power of social media, this art course empowers students to create better images with their phones.  The photography course uses smartphone camera technique in a collaborative and creative environment. In addition to crafting quality photographs with mobile devices, students consider effective, ethical, and responsible ways to reach appropriate audiences for their photography using a variety of media. This hybrid scheduled course is one of a handful of blended learning exemplars at the high school.

The video above shows how rewarding the experience was for the students and teachers that took part.

LearnLaunch and partner KnowledgeVision Systems captured a version of what attendees experienced in a pop-up studio. It was all part of the student experience presenting at the conference. That video version of the Classrooms of the Future showcase is now available.

LearnLaunch is a non-profit venture dedicated digital technologies in education. In addition to thier annual conference, LearnLaunch supports personalized and blended learning in six Boston public schools. They also run the LearnLaunch Accelerator program. The Accelerator is an edtech start-up incubator, connecting the business and education communities.

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