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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frontier Students Display Digital Skills at State Convention

Four Frontier High School students participated in a display of digital learning prowess at last month's TASA/TASB Convention. The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) partner each year to bring Texas school board members and school administrators a premier education-related convention. This year's convention was held September 28-30 in Austin. Among the convention speakers and exhibits was a Digital Learning Pavilion (DLP).

Secondary students from across the state were invited to the convention's DLP to display their ingenuity and collaboration skills in a project-based learning environment. Using technology and social media to accelerate their problem-solving skills, students teamed up to create innovative solutions to real-world problems.

The Frontier High School students at the TASA/TASB Convention DLP were provided questions and then they were to use technology to answer and create a presentation. This was not a competition, rather a display of students' technological learning skills in action.

Students completed two different tasks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The kids were given a SMART board, two iPads, a Macbook, and a Dell laptop and that was it. The morning question was, Childhood obesity rates are climbing. Is our appetite for sugar killing us? and the afternoon question was, Electronic resources drive learning, even textbooks are available online. How does this change affect you?

According to their teacher, Elise Buchhorn from Ben Barber Career Tech Academy/Frontier High School, the students conducted all of the project work and then gave a presentation of their response at the end of the session.

"They researched and gathered data online and used web tools for their first presentation," said Buchhorn. "Their afternoon session, they wanted to survey some of their classmates, so they Skyped them and then screen recorded their conversations and made video clips to insert into their Keynote software presentation. It was very impressive on what they did and how they did it."

Buchhorn made the following video to highlight their day mostly for the parents to see their kids in action, but really, it's too cool and worth sharing.