Word is spreading. The Huntington School District has assumed a leading role in the campaign to integrate technology into daily classroom instruction and the lives of students in a meaningful and effective way.
Huntington UFSD is in the midst of a multi-year campaign to utilize technology in all its forms across every grade level and academic discipline to help students learn and grow intellectually and creatively.
The district recently held a technology showcase at J. Taylor Finley Middle School. It attracted teachers and administrators from 16 Long Island school districts, who turned out to watch presentations by Huntington teachers using various technological platforms and equipment to deliver instruction.
The initiative began taking shape last winter at the EdTech showcase in Manhattan when Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky had a conversation with Chris Hansen of Nearpod, which bills itself as an “interactive classroom tool to engage students with interactive lessons.”
What Mr. Polansky put in motion, Huntington Assistant Superintendent Beth McCoy and Director of Assessment, Instructional Technology and Elementary Mathematics Marybeth Robinette took and ran with. Finley Principal John Amato helped coordinate the day in his building and the district’s other seven principals also pitched in and did their part to make the initiative successful.
Huntington teachers Ingrid Moreira, Regina Murnane, Jarred Richter, Kristin Fortunato, Omar Santiago and Gina Trigian-Molvaut made presentations on how they incorporate instructional technology that were geared toward middle school educators. Allison Conlon, Tina Balducci, Lynn Hefele, Ed Florea and Dianna Molenko made presentations directed toward elementary and high school teachers.
The Huntington faculty members participating in the technology showcase represent a cross-section of teachers spread across academic and special areas.
Huntington teachers made presentations on inter-district document sharing/editing of AP research papers, Google Classroom, Zipgrade, technology in physical education, Nearpod, Screencastisfy, Kami, Google Classroom apps, Level Up Village-Global Partnership, Storybird, Google Sites, HTML/web design, Zearn, Scannable, Coaches Eye, Animaker, Plickers, Instant Replay, ImgPlay, Flipgrid and Powtoon.
“The feedback stemming from the event was beyond positive,” Mr. Polansky said. “Our guests from districts across Long Island were so incredibly impressed with where we are in Huntington and how we support our kids. We were able to convey a clear message that technology is a tool; a means to an end as opposed to the end itself. There are so many ways to use it to enhance learning and communication. Additionally, technologies should contribute to relationship-building and collaboration as opposed to overshadowing either. Huntington teachers and administrators were particularly proud to demonstrate how they use various applications in this very manner.”
As the visiting educators headed back to their districts across Long Island they couldn’t help but marvel at the degree Huntington UFSD teachers have integrated technology into their daily instructional strategies and the extent students have embraced it themselves.