Whether students are focusing on a subject area, social emotional learning, or both, Seesaw has been invaluable in empowering their learning. Hundreds of students at both Center and Elmwood are not only engaged in their work, but are able to reflect on it as Seesaw not only serves as an online classroom, but as a digital portfolio for each student.
One of the most valued Seesaw perks is the immediate connection to families. Once families download the app, they have a window into their child’s learning. Every time a post is approved by the teacher, they receive a notification that their child’s learning experience is waiting for them. Just as the teacher can do, they are able to “like” what they see as well as provide feedback for their child.
In addition, teachers can send family announcements, using Seesaw as a way to communicate what’s happening in the classroom. Also a practical way to remind families about important events, Seesaw creates a team of people supporting students.
Check out this student intro presentation for Seesaw and video introduction for families!
The teacher benefits are incredible. Teachers are able to assess even our youngest students in new and exciting ways and ideas are spreading across both buildings at a rapid pace. Why not take a picture of the book you’re reading and and record your voice explaining why you chose it? Or draw a picture of a noun, write an expanded sentence about it, and record your voice reading your sentence? Or select the tool of your choice to express your hopes and dreams for the year and how you shine! The ideas and opportunities for teachers to not only assess student understanding, but learn about each child and build relationships are endless.
A third grader works on expanded sentences.
A second grader shows and explains his understanding of even numbers.
If you are an educator and are interested in using Seesaw with your students, please see your building technology integration specialist. The potential is limitless and I can’t wait to see how this fabulous tool continues to empower classrooms in Hopkinton.
As September came to a close, 40 Hopkinton High School students trekked into Cambridge to hear a lecture by Harvard University’s David Malan. Already familiar with the professor from screening recorded lectures, the opportunity to see him live gave students a glimpse of both the teacher and the university setting.
Dr. Malan created CS50, an introductory computer science course, offered both on campus to enrolled Harvard students but also open to the world as a massive open online course for anyone interested via edX. It is currently the largest course offered at Harvard, Yale, and on the edX open online course platform.
Two sections of Hopkinton’s Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles were joined by students from the Mobile App Development and Game Design courses, as well as the Girls Who Code club on the visit Harvard.
The live lecture in the Sanders Theater, located in the High Victorian Gothic Memorial Hall, was quite a change of pace from a typical class at the high school.
“Seeing it live really made the computer science class come to life because we had just seen [Dr. Malan] on video,” sophomore Allison Fu said. “Now I can see him in person and directly engaging with the audience and the students actively participating in the lecture. That really made me enjoy it even more.”
More akin to a televised event, a team of Harvard students recorded the lecture for the open online version of the course. The lecture is already available online.
“It as really an enlightening experience with a ton of information and the lecturer was actually really nice too,” senior Kent Berlin said.
During the lecture, Dr. Malan explored basic data structures in command line arguments. Students watched in the classic theater mixed with current Harvard students enrolled in the course.
“I thought it was really a great opportunity for HHS students to witness the curriculum they will experience but in a college level lecture hall. I hope it shows them just how much they are capable of learning,” said librarian and computer science teacher Kirsten Fournier.
The field trip offered multiple courses a chance to visit Harvard’s campus and gain a glimpse into what it might be like to potentially major in computer science as an undergraduate.
“In our Mobile App Development class, we use MIT App Inventor, where they learn the basic concept of coding but it’s not the line by line experience of a higher level computer programming language,” Mike McFarland said. “It exposed the students to a real-world example of what a computer science degree entails and a look at the level detail involved.”
Alison Fu said, “We are all interested in maybe having a computer science as a major in college. To go on this trip and have a feel of it really feels like and that was one of the main reasons I went on this trip.”
Since CS50 is also one of the AP approved curriculum providers for the high school Computer Science Principles course and exam, Fournier often uses or adapts lessons for use in the high school course. The public CS50 version includes publicly available tools like an integrated development environment (IDE), a debugger, and grading tool.
The course material also integrates easily with GitHub, a popular Internet open source storehouse and hosting service for all kinds of coders.
“The IDE that [CS50 course] provides is where we will be doing all of our programming,” Fournier explained. “Everyone can access it and easily submit their work through GitHub, which allows me to review and comment line by line.”
“[Students] can also see their classmates code and problem sets because not everyone is going to solve a problem the same way,” Fournier said.
“It’s the total package,” Fournier commented about the value of CS50.
For students, the day out provided an experience not possible in a Hopkinton classroom or through video recordings. Students generally enjoyed themselves.
“I thought it was really cool. I love Cambridge and the Boston area. And I thought the lecture was really interesting because I wanted to learn about CS and how its applied in a classroom setting, senior Ben Nigrosh said.
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