SCHOOLA S p e c i a l S u p p l e m e n t t o t h e S u l l i v a n C o u n t y D e m o c r a t
A look atactivities in the
Roscoe Central School
SECTION R MARCH, 2016
School Scene: A Look at Activities in Roscoe Central School
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March 1, 2016 Vol. CXXV, No. 74
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District uses technology to break traditional learning moldsSTORY AND PHOTOS
BY KATHY DALEY
Technology coordinator andteacher Gilat Aharon has servedthe Roscoe Central School(RCS) for seven years. Here, sheanswers questions about the richnessof technology in one of SullivanCounty's smallest school districts,and how students respond to newways of learning.
How widely is technology used atRoscoe Central School?
All students have Google accounts,giving everyone the opportunity tohave access to Google Docs, Slides,Sheets, etc. Students are able to typeup a project at school and still accessit while they are anywhere that hasInternet.
This year, all 10th grade studentswere given their own personalChromebooks (a kind of laptop) forthe school year. Our goal in the nextthree years is to have every studentfrom grade 8 to 12 with aChromebook.
In our middle school wing, a cart ofChromebooks is shared between thefifth and sixth graders. Fifth and sixthgraders have personal Kindles thatcan be signed out and taken homedaily for those who do not have tech-nology at home to complete schoolwork. Additionally, our elementaryand high school wing has its own cartof iPads shared between classrooms.
Our distance learning technologygives students an opportunity to takecourses they never could before. Weoffer two classes, one we host withour science teacher Taso Pantilieris,who teaches forensics to our own stu-
dents and to those in three otherschools: Laurens Central, MorrisCentral and Unadilla Valley, all inNew York State. The other distancelearning class available to our stu-dents is an Italian course that comes
from Laurens.Even our second graders are
involved in distance learning. In aproject at Thanksgiving time, DonnaGreenthal's students meet studentsfrom another school as they try to
solve the mystery of a turkey in dis-guise that each school has made forthe other.
I have collaborated with both Mr.Pantilieris and science teacher MikeHill on the use of Zaption, which is
Gilat Aharon steers the Roscoe Central School through the exciting waters of new technologies for staff and students.
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video-based learning with interactivecontent and tools that helps engagelearners, deepen understanding andtrack progress.
We have begun computer-basedtesting, this year piloting in one of ourclasses. Steve Livsey, our instruction-al multi-media technician, and guid-ance counselor Kelly Hendricksonwork together with me and attendmany conferences on New York Statetechnology changes.
How do students react to the use oftechnology?
Eighth grade students recentlystarted their 10-week course with me.I helped them set up their first schoolGoogle account and had them collab-orate in groups to complete a lengthyassignment that required them to usedocs sheets and slides in the sameproject. They were amazed that alltheir partners were able to view thesame document at once and to watchin real time as they added informa-tion to the same project.
They loved how easy it was to sharedocuments and work easily on thesame thing. They loved that fact thateach student had his or her ownresponsibility in the group and wereable separately but still together tocomplete a project.
Why is technology so important inclassrooms?
Used correctly, technology helpsprepare students for future careers,which will inevitably include the useof wireless technology. Integratingtechnology is also a great way to sup-port diversity in learning styles.
Technology gives students thechance to interact with their class-mates more by encouraging collabo-ration. It helps students stay engaged.
Students have access to digital text-books that are constantly updatedand often more vivid, helpful, creative
lessons and are a lot cheaper thanthose old heavy books.
Todays students love technology sothey are sure to be interested in learn-ing if they can use the tools they love.When mobile technology is readilyavailable in the classroom, studentsare able to access the most up-to-dateinformation quicker and easier thanever before. The traditional passivelearning mold is broken. Teacherbecomes the encourager, adviser, andcoach. Students become moreresponsible.
Alisha Trautschold said Roscoe's goingGoogle has allowed students more optionsat their fingertips, easier access to the inter-net and new ways to explore and learn.
4R ROSCOE SCHOOL SCENE SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT MARCH, 2016
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Knowledge + healthy lifestyle = academic success, say teachers
Roscoe physical education teachers Melissa Ebeling and Jeff Molusky try to keepkids active both in school and out. PLEASE SEE PHYS ED, PAGE 7R
STORY AND PHOTOS BY KATHY DALEY
As anyone knows who has walkedfast, run hard or danced wildly,physical activity feels good.It promotes endorphins that make
kids feel happy, that makes for happyadults, said Roscoe Physical Educationteacher Melissa Ebeling.
She and fellow phys ed teacher JeffMolusky spend their own energy pro-moting wellness and healthy habits atRoscoe Central School for physicaland academic reasons.
Research shows that physical activitydoes lead to higher test scores, saidMolusky.