Clintondale High School serves 400 diverse students with a “flipped” model of instruction: Students do assigned reading, and watch videos their teachers have uploaded, on their own time, so teachers can use class time for discussion, activities, and working one-on-one with students. The program has evolved as technology has created more opportunities for digital learning.
Students are now learning how to code small robots, program drones, and design objects to create with 3D printers. This year the school is partnering with a local university to launch an eSports team. The school has an audio and TV production studio where students work on podcasts, PSAs, and an annual project to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research. After choosing a theme, they design merchandise for sale and record and edit commercials.
Principal Meloney Cargill says the digital tools do more than foster engagement. “If you get kids engaged, you will see growth in scores, but it’s also about accessibility,” she says. “Kids can take the laptops home, so they have access. If they can’t make it to school, they can get the lessons online.” Assessment is another key element. “Before (digital learning), you didn’t know if kids got the lesson until you gave the test. Now you can see, before they even leave the classroom, if they understand what we’re teaching.”