It's a concept that may be hard for some adults to wrap their heads around--eco poetry and integrating movie making with real world issues--but for Ralston Middle School students, tech innovation in the classroom is a natural and progressive way of learning--especially in the 21st century.
And that innovation has earned Ralston Middle School teacher Angela Sveda praise not just from her home district, but by tech giant Microsoft.
Sveda was honored by Microsoft last year for her creation, Storytech. The elective program that she teaches at the middle school integrates STEM (computer programming) with the district's Common Core English-Language Arts standards.
"21st century learning is happening in the (BRSSD) district,and it's happening in our schools" said Sveda at a Jan. 17 meeting of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District Board of Trustees.
"Mr. Yager was my mentor and I'm carrying the torch," she said referring to Bryan Yager, the retired teacher who was the original techie at Ralston, transitioning Industrial Arts into Industrial Technology.
In her class, students collaborate to design movies, 2D and 3D videogames, and 3D animations based on real-world issues. In the process, they use the skills needed for 21st century careers; creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, and communication and collaboration.
"Our students are savvy, they're quick, and they're smart and we want to have them ready for high school and have THEM be the ones other kids come to for help," Sveda said enthusiastically about her program.
BRSSD interim co-superintendent Nellie Hungerford acknowledged Sveda's work and noted that Sveda has been nominated for a Kent Award.
"We are extraordinarily proud of your work--you represent the best of our teachers," said Hungerford.
Sveda and her class represented California at the national Microsoft Innovative Educator Forum 2012 in Seattle, WA last year.
Has your son or daughter taken Angela Sveda's Storytech class? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
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