Last spring, the NEF approved a small grant written by Erin Mack, High Rock’s Technology Integration Specialist, to transform the technology lab into a Creation Lab. We had a chance to sit in on a class in the Creation Lab in March, where everything that Ms. Mack envisioned in her grant application has come to life in her classroom.
Where there were once rows of computers facing a whiteboard, there are now lively work spaces defined with colorful rugs, furniture and dividers. During our visit, some students were recording in front of a green screen with plans of dropping in backgrounds suitable to their project. At one grouping of computers, two students were creating a poster together, while another group lay on the floor filming a stop motion film using their iPads, an iPad stand, and a whiteboard. Erin never sat down while we were there – she moved from group to group and answered questions, gave instructions and ideas, and challenged students to think of new ways to accomplish their tasks. In her grant application, Erin wrote, “Imagine a room where teachers can be the facilitator and students have the autonomy to create, collaborate, and learn at different paces, showcasing their learning in various ways. The possibilities for differentiation and creativity are extensive.” Kudos to Erin on a well-conceived grant and accomplishing her vision with the High Rock Creation Lab.
Reaction from staff and students has been very positive, too!
“(I liked) the options available for students to have a choice in their final project for my course. There were designated spaces for kids to work in small groups or individually. All materials were available to help them be successful.” – HR Teacher
“I liked that you could be super creative with the stop motion.”- HR Student