What does project-based learning look like in a 1:1 elementary school district? In Rollinsford, New Hampshire, students use their laptops every day to do independent research, complete writing assignments, and create digital presentations, which often include audio. The students have learned how to use third-party applications that let them record their own voices and add those audio files to their slides. And their teachers use SMART boards that serve as both digital white boards and large, wall-mounted tablets.
Students love their weekly games of Mystery Skype, where two classrooms connect online and take turns asking each other questions in order to figure out where the other classroom is located. This activity helps students strengthen their communication skills and learn about other cultures as they learn basic geography. And the school recently acquired its first virtual reality headsets to use with educational VR programs.
Before Rollinsford upgraded its Internet, teachers had to limit audio and video streaming. Now that those restrictions are gone, they’re finding that streaming light classical music helps students focus on their projects. Testing is much easier, too; all students can complete online assessments at the same time from any part of the school. What used to take more than a week now only takes a few days – so there’s more time for instruction (and Mystery Skype).