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Friday, June 1, 2018

Students Teach Teachers in Summer Course

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When you want to learn about technology, sometimes you have to go to the ones who never knew life without it.

Fifth- and sixth-graders from Asa Low Intermediate School were the instructors for an interactive class at the Mansfield ISD Vision 2020 Summer Conference.

The students taught educators how different technological games and gadgets can be incorporated into the curriculum.

“It’s what we call a technology playground,” said Lynn Gustafson, MISD educational technology trainer. “We invited students who have used these devices and tools in their classroom setting.”

Gustafson said a similar student-taught class was offered at an educational technology conference earlier in the year. It received such rave reviews that the team decided to bring it back for the summer.

Mitchell maneuvers Sphero through an obstacle course.
DaMont Mitchell, an incoming seventh-grader, led a session about using robotics to enhance various lesson plans. The participants learned how to steer a spherical robot name Sphero.

“It’s also waterproof, so you can use it under water for exploration lessons,” Mitchell explained. “And it has a programming feature so that students can learn how to code the robot to move in a certain direction.”

At first, some of the instructors were surprised to see students leading the lesson, but they were impressed by the children’s intelligence.

“It was pretty cool that they are the ones that are knowledgeable and showing us how to do it,” said Lynette Paulino, teacher at J.L. Boren Elementary School. “It’s pretty cool that our future generations are teaching the teachers.”

The class organizers said the teachers were very responsive and appreciative for the students. The student instructors said that it was rewarding to give back.

“It feels good to be teaching the teachers because it feels like I’m the bigger person because teachers teach me, so I get to teach them,” said Mitchell.

The teachers now have the opportunity to write a grant to the MISD Education Foundation in hopes of getting the different devices that were demonstrated to them.