As a seventh to twelfth grade special education teacher, Susan Hayes-Manning said she’s often dealing with students on different levels of learning in various subjects at Herkimer Jr.-Sr. High School.
She said it’s the use of apps on her iPad that assist her with classroom instruction.
“Students are the digital natives because this is all they’ve grown up with,” said Hayes-Manning. “I use it in my classroom in different ways because of the different styles and different needs. iPads can reach across a wide range of ability levels and grade levels.”
Hayes-Manning and Heather McCutcheon, a K-12 art teacher at Herkimer Central School, recently made a presentation at the fifth annual Technology Showcase on how they utilize apps in the classroom.
The showcase was put on by the Mohawk Regional Information Center at Vernon Downs on Oct. 2. Hayes-Manning and McCutcheon were among 150 teachers and administrators from 25 area school districts who demonstrated how they use technology in the classroom. Sessions at the showcase included robotics, Google Chrome and Windows 8 to data dashboards, online testing and cyber security.
According to Hayes-Manning, a summary for their presentation was to “focus on the many different ways that you and your students can use digital learning.”
Apps are one of the ways that technology has become more prevalent in classrooms.
In an email McCutcheon said they showcased the lessons, ideas and apps they use with the students in their presentation.
“I think it is important to showcase the amazing things our HCSD students are doing and how we are getting them ready to be 21st century learners,” she said in the email.
Hayes-Manning said during a telephone interview Wednesday she and McCutcheon presented the different apps they use to help teach their students, which include Socrative, Padlet, Sketchbook and Class Dojo.
Hayes-Manning said all the apps they use could be found at an app store for free.
“Both of us are very passionate about technology and are constantly looking for different ways to bring technology in the classroom,” she said.
Hayes-Manning said they’ve seen positive responses from their students about using the apps.
“The kids love it,” she said. “You hand them the iPad and they love it.”
Hayes-Manning said she and McCutcheon use their personal iPads for the students to use. The students have to take turns using the apps and iPad during a class period, though Hayes-Manning noted many of the apps are also Web-based.
“I get the iPad in their hands as much as I can,” said Hayes-Manning. “They respond better, and become more engaged. They become more active participants.”
Page 2 of 2 - Hayes-Manning and McCutcheon have made presentations on using apps in the classroom before, including at Hamilton College and training for their colleagues over the summer. It was their first time presenting at MORIC.
“Apps in the classroom are becoming more common,” said Jim LaVere, an educational IT Leader at MORIC. LaVere, assigned to Herkimer Central School District as technology coordinator, asked Hayes-Manning and McCutcheon to submit a presentation to this year’s showcase, which was accepted.
“Teachers need to really identify with and connect with other educators that are utilizing these tools to inspire, and to defuse their fear,” said LaVere.
“Both [McCutcheon] and [Hayes-Manning] are very passionate educators and very innovative,” said LaVere during a telephone interview Wednesday. “They work with technology as not an obstacle, but as a vehicle where they can convey education in a meaningful and relevant way that reaches all learners.”