Hun Teacher Lynn McNulty made national news last week by teaching her class via FaceTime from a 100-car-pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. If tomorrow is a snow day, teachers at the Hun School will take virtual teaching a step further by hold classes online using Google Hangouts.
Teachers and students are prepared to meet up virtually on Schoology, The Hun School’s internal learning management platform, to hold discussions, present materials, and share media.
“When technology is employed, teachers are freed from standing in front of the class and presenting information. We’ve got Google for that,” said Hun Upper School Head Ryan Hews in a message to faculty Sunday, quoting George Lucas of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. “Now they can spend more time developing deeper personal relationships with students. They can pat students on the back, call them by name, and encourage them to work harder. Like Plato or Aristotle, they can inquire, `’Why do you think that’s true?’… As a school invested in innovation and the deeper student-teacher relationship, we should be able to find ways to make snow days obsolete and we might get a chance to practice on Monday.”
The school’s faculty innovation team met virtually on Sunday to test new apps that can be employed to facilitate meaningful virtual classes. The following technologies will also be employed on Monday:
– Schoology will be used to post and share an article, image, or video clip and then host an online discussion about it.
– PowerPoint, Prezi, and Keynote presentations will be used to “flip” the classroom – a popular new technique where teachers share information and media at night, for the sake of using classroom time for collaborative group work.
– Students will be doing technology research trying new apps in order to facilitate learning in a specific subject area. Students and faculty will meet as a class using Google Hangouts.