During our September symposium – where we brought together Sarasota County School District curriculum specialists and representatives from local arts, science and history organizations – Safari Montage Live was demonstrated during a panel on technology.
Safari Montage Live is a hosted software program adopted by the Sarasota County School district. The software, along with ActiveBoards in every Sarasota County classroom, make interactive programs possible. Safari Live is a cost-effective way of adding relevant, interesting community content and interaction within classrooms.
This is just one example of how technology is being using to enhance and reinforce connections among classrooms and the larger communities from which students can learn.
Sir Ken Robinson reminds us that we are living in an age of incredible technology but still expect students to stay in their seats and follow sequential curriculum.
Could we be that place that connects students with unimaginable experiences without technology?
Hands on connections – seeing, touching – are still important, but what could we add, enhance and reinforce with the technology schools already have and cultural organizations might afford?
Collecting observations from webcams stationed at the Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City. Talking with Mote Marine Laboratory’s world-class scientists about their findings post BP gulf oil spill. Exploring the mangroves surrounding Selby Gardens or the middens at Spanish Point. Having a discussion with the dancers from the ballet “Anne Frank” and so much more.
These are all examples of experiences that can be enhanced through technology. The Lemur Conservation already has a distance education course using webcams to learn about the animals.
The JASON Project, for example, connects students with scientists and researchers in real- and near-real time, virtually and physically, to provide mentored, authentic and enriching science learning experiences. Here’s a JASON Project scientist’s view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InUrAHyggDY&feature=related.
The Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota tapes its “Playtalk Panels” and posts them on YouTube. Here is the “Bonnie and Clyde” discussion with the author, lyricist and project director. Wouldn’t it be a great opportunity for our area high school theatre classes to add their virtual participation?
Are you already using interactive classroom/on-site experiences? What applications do you see? Are there disadvantages to using these kinds of experiences in the classroom?