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Bronx school showcases new model for technology in learning

I’m sitting at my desk right now, but I’m also watching a student-produced news broadcast about racial segregation in schools. Students from IS 339 in the Bronx are tracing the roots of the low graduation rates in their neighborhood schools to the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the doctrine of separate but equal.

The presentation is being broadcast online as part of a “global learning reception” called Dot to Dot hosted today by teachers and students at IS 339 in the Bronx, a school that is trying to pioneer new ways to integrate technology in student learning. The school is showing off examples of student work today that include videos, online chats, and collaborative Google documents. The event is part of what Principal Jason Levy, an occasional blogger for GothamSchools, is calling an effort to devise “a model for the new public school.”

The presentations run until 5 p.m. today and are being streamed online. Some of the upcoming highlights: 

  • A class of special education students read the Holocaust story “Number the Stars” and learned about genocide in Darfur. They’ll be chatting here with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof at 2.30 p.m.
  • Seventh-grade social studies students drew comic strips about what life would be like without the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Their teacher will be showing off the work at 3:10 p.m.
  • And at 3:10 p.m., I’ll be watching Levy discuss how IS 339 teachers integrated technology into their lessons.

Other projects aren’t being presented in realtime, but can be explored via Web sites each teacher set up. For more about technology at IS 339, read Elizabeth’s Village Voice article from last fall about Learning 2.0, the movement to bring computers and online connectivity into classrooms.