to that initiative,
plays an essential
role in teaching
By Jennifer Kuhel and learning.
After the second period bell rings
at Shaker Heights High School and
the students in Advanced Placement
Spanish V settle at their desks, teacher
Kimberly Ponce de Leon gives the class
their first instruction.
“Sacar un dispositivo,” Ponce de
Leon tells them. Translation: Take out
your device. Some students pull out
iPhones and others open Chromebooks.
For past generations of students who
learned a foreign language by memorizing
grammar rules and conjugating verbs
aloud, the notion of utilizing a tool
that has the capability to provide quick
answers may sound like the easy way
out. Not so, says David Glasner, Shaker
Heights Schools executive director of
Curriculum and Instruction.
“Education and learning look
so different now from when most of
us were growing up, but this is what
learning should look like,” he explains.
“Learning should be inquiry-based
and our students should be using
technology to collaborate in the
classroom and to explore.”
To the casual onlooker, Shaker
Heights Schools’ traditional collection
of neighborhood school buildings
evokes feelings of nostalgia, but
what’s happening inside the buildings
is very much 21st century learning.
Four years ago, the District’s five-year
strategic plan included a technology
initiative to implement tools that
support instruction and organizational
efficiency. Today, thanks to that
initiative, broad support from teachers
across all grades and subjects, and to
Shaker’s students, technology plays
an essential role in enhancing learning
experiences and preparing students for
their lives ahead.
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