Bedford Schools’ K-12 Technology Showcase A Great Success

March 28, 2014
JGMS teacher Cheryl Pespisa and Lane School Assistant Principal Keith Kinney enjoy Kevin's presentation - Image (c) JMcCT, 2014
JGMS teacher Cheryl Pespisa and Lane School Assistant Principal Keith Kinney enjoy Kevin’s presentation – Image (c) JMcCT, 2014

By Julie McCay Turner

Billed as the Bedford Public Schools’ K-12 Technology Showcase, the March 19 event exceeded all expectations, with more than 53 projects and each of Bedford’s schools represented. Each project told a great story. Anyone who questions the value of the spread of the iPad culture or Internet connectivity in Bedford schools would be heartened to see the imaginativeness and complexity of the projects on view. Selectman William Moonan concluded, “I think Bedford students are going to be well-armed to succeed in the future”

From the very youngest students animating cartoons under the watchful eye of Jeremy Royds, through robotics projects conceived and built by elementary and middle-school students, and on to the high school cookery class that utilizes live video streaming to connect classes in Bedford and California—there was almost too much to see during the few hours that the Showcase was open.

State Representative Ken Gordon, who attended the Showcase with his family, commented in praise of the event, “The work of these Bedford students, from the youngest to the high school seniors,” he said, “showed creativity and sophistication. Whether it is in science and technology, last week’s musical, the art show next month and more, our students demonstrate such hard work, talent and dedication.”

Grades 3 to 5 at Lane School fielded ten projects, including creating a library class Bookworm Blog and an online personal dictionary; using Google Sketch-up for 3-D modeling; practicing clear communications and demonstrating student’s understanding of universal algorithms using Educreations; creating personal digital portfolios using Evernote; programming in Scratch; testing electrical circuits using Makey Makey kits; and using Creaza, an online comic strip tool, to share their understanding of life in the Plymouth Colony following last fall’s field trip.

Rob Ackerman, Principal of Lane School said, “This is an amazing opportunity for people to see not only how much education has changed, but how powerful the tools of technology can [be] in enhancing our student’s education.”

“I was totally blown away by the sophistication of the projects being produced by Bedford students,” said Selectman William Moonan. “Second graders were doing original research.  History [is] being documented in animated form on iPads by teams of BHS freshmen. And seniors [are] programing robots to do search-and-retrieve tasks.”

Keith Kinney, the Assistant Principal at Lane Elementary School, listened carefully as JGMS student Kevin describe how his technology project connected with what he learned in Cheryl Pespisa’s 7th grade English and Social Studies classes. “There is always collegial conversation about how we can use technology to its maximum potential,” said Kinney. “Today was a great example of technology helping students shine. Throughout the entire presentation I felt that Kevin took lots of pride [in] and ownership of his learning.” Cheryl Pespisa added that the endeavor “was a post-reading project, connecting Social Studies and English curriculum benchmarks. Students used maps of Ethiopia and its capital city of Addis Ababa to identify and plot key events in which to summarize the plot, and other literary elements from the story, Escape Under the Forever Sky, written by Eve Yohalem.”

School Committee Chairman Ed Pierce said, “How great is this? High school seniors were talking with the youngest students, asking them to describe their projects.”

Bedford TV covered the K-12 Technology Showcase.

Click to read the Citizen’s additional coverage of the events:

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