Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Now THAT’S how you use technology in a school

Our County school system assigns each student to a "base" school, but also gives families an option of applying for magnet programs.  There are a variety of different programs - Gifted and Talented, Leadership, Montessori, Museum.....  We applied for the Active Learning and Technology program for our older son, and just found out he will be attending Kindergarten there next year.

The school's a great fit for him all around, both on the active learning (project-based learning) and technology (the only thing that he really focuses on for any period of time is the PC) aspects, as well as the way they structure the day, a "whisper policy" in the classrooms to minimize distractions and commotion, and other elements of the philosophy.  

One really interesting contrast between this program and his base school?  I toured his base school recently, and while it seemed like a great place, one of the things the Principal pointed out when giving me the tour was one of the two computer rooms.  They were pretty standard computer rooms - 4 or 5 rows of tables filled with desktops, all facing the front of the room.   And the way she talked about how the kids get to "visit" there, I could tell it was in a "every once in a while, we let them in and they learn how to use a mouse" kind of thing.  Jacob's at the point now where he's giving us instructions on how to run a browser - well beyond that introductory stuff.

Anyway - the contrast point?  I was on the website of the school he'll be going to next year, and found this in the Announcements section:


A group of second graders in Ms. Massengill's class are reading the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. They chose to podcast their discussion. Listen to their thoughts and feelings about the book, hear and excerpt read aloud and more.