The week of June 11 marked the start of a busy summer in Gadsden County for teachers and students across the school district.
Among the programs being offered this summer are the 21st Century Community Learning Summer Program, which provides academic and enrichment opportunities for students in grades 1-12; the Technology Boot Camp for teachers under the leadership of Sheantika B. Wiggins, the school district’s director of instructional media and technology, which was held at the school district office in Quincy; and the WFSU/PBS Kids Scratch Jr. Summer Science Camp for first- and second-grade students from Chattahoochee Elementary School.
The Technology Book Camp provided training to 24 teachers from various schools across the district. Many participants said that the training was exciting and stimulating, and included informative technology sessions that support digital learning.
Teachers were introduced to multiple interactive applications and communication tools that can be implemented in their classrooms such as Remind, Schoology, GoNoodle, iXL and Google Classroom. Christine Bradley, a Grade 6-8 self-contained teacher at James A. Shanks Middle School in Quincy, was one of the camp presenters. Bradley said most of the applications/programs offered at the camp can be integrated into all grade levels.
The different components introduced at the camp included teacher web pages, Google Apps for Education, Skyward gradebook, interactive classrooms and exceptional students’ strategies and adaptive technology. Gadsden County School Superintendent Roger P. Milton welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation for the teachers for attending.
Milton also challenged the teachers to take this learning back to their respective schools and to share it with other teachers, and, most importantly, to ensure that they implement the tools in their classrooms. Meanwhile, at West Gadsden Middle School, 40 students in first through third grades participated in a week-long fun-filled PBS Kids Scratch Jr. Science Camp sponsored by WFSU and Envision Credit Union.
PBS Kids Scratch Jr. is not a television show, but instead is a brand-new app that is free for an iPad or tablet. WFSU provided the application to all students to use during the week of camp. This camp offered the opportunity to harness creativity and logic thinking skills to create digital and animated stories with the app.
Applying the PBS Kids Scratch Jr. app, the students used the colorful programming blocks which allowed them to create sequences of actions that caused characters to animate and interact in fun and exciting ways. The students created and manipulated PBS Kids characters and backgrounds, and even used the recording tool to add sounds and give voices to projects.
According to school district officials, the students who attended the camp appeared to be avid and zealous about what the world of science has to offer.
“The Gadsden County Public School District is committed to providing the best growth and learning opportunities for all teachers and learners during the school year, in afterschool programs and during the summer,” said Gadsden County School Board Chair Steve Scott.
COVER PHOTO: L-R, FRONT: Stacy Henderson; L-R, REAR: Clenita Wiggins, Tomeka Lightfoot, Melinda Tindall, Nahketah Kirkland and Christine Bradley were among the 24 educators from the Gadsden County School District who participated in a Technology Boot Camp this summer at the district office in Quincy. MIOS stands for Military Intelligence and Operations Support. Photo courtesy Gadsden County School District.
By Kendi-Brown-Byrd and Jade Franklin, Gadsden County High School student reporters
Kendi Brown-Byrd and Jade Franklin are rising seniors at Gadsden County High School. Franklin and Brown-Byrd will cover school news for The Herald this summer. Dierra Milton, library/media specialist at Havana Magnet School, will supervise the student reporters.