Moffat County students reflect on technology’s learning impact
January 28, 2016
Craig — Krista Schenck, an instructional coach for Moffat County School District, sees technology as a way for students to reach beyond the classroom and into a wider audience with their assignments.
"With my high school kids, I really want that authentic audience," said Schenck in an interview before the session. "I know how powerful it is."
Schenck also teaches Moffat County High School business courses.
Last year, Schenck explained, she used the online resource Google Plus to make a connection with a teacher in Monterrey, Mexico. The two collaborated on an assignment, asking their students to research the areas where the other students lived and then propose, via video, a new product to them.
Schenck said the students in Moffat County had to learn about the environment in Mexico so they could make better proposals to the students there. One of the products they chose to market was the GoPro camera.
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"They had to think, 'What would these kids do on the weekends?'” Schenck explained. "They had to think about a totally different spin on that product and then come up with all of the reasons and ways to market it."
This year, Schenck said, the use of technology is spreading more broadly into other courses. She noted that students in an advanced placement English class are researching aspects of the community and writing research papers and presenting videos that other community members will watch.
As for the students, they say that using technology to consider an audience outside of the traditional teacher does affect the way they work. Randa Reed, a 17-year-old senior at MCHS, is working on an advertisement for Victory Motors of Craig in her business class. She's advertising a Jeep, and so she and fellow students are working on an adventurous video that includes sledding — and they're letting their various falls and less-than-elegant moves stay on-screen.
"It wasn't just a boring, monotone video," Randa said.
Students say, too, that their writing tends to take different shapes when they think about a larger audience. Some students say they haven't yet written blogs, or online posts, for class, but they do think about the way writing their own personal blogs affects their writing.
"For class it's more along the lines of knowing what the topic is and making sure it sounds right (compared) to what the teacher's standards are," said Emily Cox, a 17-year-old senior. "In a blog, it's more opinionated. It's your words."
Kaylee Durham, a 16-year-old junior, said the thought of her words flying out to a wider audience, especially online, makes her more mindful.
"I almost feel like I'm more careful when I write on the Internet, just because it will be there forever," she said. When she writes something online, Kaylee explained, she scrutinizes each word.
"It's there forever, and there's a lot more people who can view it," Kaylee said. "It makes me feel better to have the knowledge that I didn't put something out there that was poor."