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Briarcliff Middle School Teachers Get Technology Lesson From Peers

Music teacher Marc Tartell showed Briarcliff Middle School colleagues how technology improves teaching in the Briarcliff Middle School Music Lab.
Music teacher Marc Tartell showed Briarcliff Middle School colleagues how technology improves teaching in the Briarcliff Middle School Music Lab. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Teachers at Briarcliff Middle School who regularly use technology gave colleagues overviews of some of the programs and methods they utilize during recent faculty workshops.

Eighth-grade science teacher Jodi Shearer pulled up videos to explain to her peers the benefits of a “flipped classroom,” which the department has been incorporating this school year.

“The flipped classroom allows us to use great instructional videos and interactive websites as teaching tools for homework, so students can do the harder work with teacher support, if needed, in class,” she said. “The flipped classroom gives teachers and students so much more time together working on the important applications of learning. It also enables the students to learn at their own pace – I encourage my students to watch my videos more than once and also to pause and rewind them as needed. This year, I also have my students take a short online quiz after the videos/presentations. This allows me to see which questions they struggled with before we even get in to school.”

Shearer provided a demonstration to fellow teachers showing how she creates, edits and shares the presentations her students are able to view at home.

In the school’s music lab, Christopher Melito and Marc Tartell let teachers play with various tools that make learning about music simple for students, even those who might not catch on as quickly in a traditional music setting.

The Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation funded the lab two years ago.

“With Garageband,” Melito said, “even the most novice musician can sound great.”

Another tool in the lab, the Jam Hub, allows students to rock out on instruments without bothering anyone else  thanks to connected headphones.

Spanish teacher Johanna Foster set up groups of teachers in her classroom who used personal devices to participate in a multiple-choice quiz that was displayed on the SmartBoard. She said she uses the program Kahoot! to help students review material before tests.

“I think this is a fantastic tool,” she said. “The kids love it. The excitement from the class is amazing.”

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