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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2002

Tech team's focus is Columbus

A bunch of “video babies” might need a nap today.

They could be plum tuckered out from showing off their technological talents and techniques during a three-day conference in Columbus.

These “video babies” - introduced to modems, MTV, and mouse pads at a tender age - belong to an elite group of tech-savvy students at Anthony Wayne High School.

From that group, eight were selected to take part in the Ohio SchoolNet state technology conference at the Columbus Convention Center. The conference, which began Monday and ended yesterday, is one of the largest statewide educational technology conferences in the nation.

Tod Tapola, director of technology for Anthony Wayne schools, predicted last week that the students would be up until midnight during the conference, working to finish projects assigned to them.

Despite the workload, the students were looking forward to the event, welcoming the opportunity to demonstrate their tech-related skills.

Erica Hertzfeld, Dan Ransberger, Shannon Tapola, and Ethan Wilke formed a student documentary team, shooting digital-video footage of activities, presentations, and exhibits to create a mini-documentary. They also interviewed participants and speakers, including Hope Taft, the First Lady of Ohio.

On the conference's final day, the students started to edit the footage, and attendees at the conference could watch the editing process in the 21st Century SchoolHouse exhibit.

Meantime, AW students Ashley Curtis, Kim Herrmann, Don Hertzfeld, and Ryan Hertzfeld had starring roles during a demonstration in the SchoolHouse's active classroom.

Linda Hertzfeld, AW's technology integration specialist, was one of four Ohio teachers selected to demonstrate a technology-integrated lesson that has been successfully taught in the classroom. Her language-arts presentation on narrative and persuasive writing featured footage of Dan Rather during a TV broadcast Sept. 11.

“Educators present what is working in their classrooms,” she said last Friday as she and the students made final preparations for the conference.

To prepare for the mini-documentary project, Ethan honed his video taping skills and Dan practiced by posing shots.

The eight students are seasoned veterans when it comes to pixels, FireWire ports, and Power Mac G4s. And when it comes to iMovies and iBooks, these students demonstrate their “iCan do it” attitude.

Technology makes learning “more interesting,” Don said. Self-described “visual learners,” these students prefer audio-visual presentations rather than poster-board displays.

The eight students are enrolled in AW's technology independent study program, initiated during the 2000-01 school year. About 20 students who applied were selected for the program.

TIS students, who earn class credit, tackle a variety of projects, such as providing technical support to AW staff members and assisting with website and webpage development for the district, teachers, and school clubs. Mrs. Hertzfeld is the “teacher of record” for the TIS program.

Anthony Wayne High School offers about 15 tech courses, including computer graphics, cyber arts, internet web design, and computer-aided drafting.

A new $2 million technology wing with eight classrooms is under construction at the high school. The addition is to be open this fall.

Mr. Tapola and Kevin Radwanski, multimedia teacher in the high school and junior high school at Anthony Wayne, also attended the conference.

Student displays from Gateway Middle School in Maumee and Perrysburg High School also were featured during the event which drew more than 5,000 teachers, technology coordinators, and other education professionals. Ohio SchoolNet's mission is to provide leadership, coordination, and oversight for educational technology.



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