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Jason Clark
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Featured Teacher:  Mary Ward

Mary Ward
Chemistry Teacher
Fayetteville Manlius High School
Fayetteville Manlius Central School District

Mary Ward is a chemistry teacher at Fayetteville Manliuis High School in the FM Central School District.  She has taught Regents and Honors Chemistry to sophomores and juniors and has been doing so for the past nine years. 

What are some of the innovative ways you are integrating technology into your curriculum?

Over the years, Mrs. Ward has used Blackboard, a learning management system, to deliver content to her students beyond the constraints of time and space as students can access her materials 24/7.  This year, she is "flipping" her instruction with her Honors Chemistry students.  The "Flipped Classroom" concept inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving "homework" into the classroom. Mary uses Camtasia, screencasting software, to record her lectures.  More than a simple screen recorder, Camtasia gives users the tools they need to record on-screen activity, add imported media, create interactive content, and share high-quality, HD videos that viewers can watch anytime, on nearly any device. Mary's video lectures range in length from 8 to 20 minutes.  Once they are recorded, the videos are uploaded to Ensemble, a video storage and sharing service available through the CNYRIC's E-Learning service.  From there, her video lectures are linked to her Blackboard site for students to view at home.  
How have students benefitted from your technology integration initiatives?
In Mary's words, the benefits of this model have allowed for greater individual interaction between the teacher and each student as well as among students in the classroom. Instead of students spending 40 minutes taking notes, they spend the time reinforcing the notes they listened to the night before. They have their teacher on hand if they do not understand a concept and they have classmates to work with. In addition, they may work at their own pace. If students are not able to view a video at home, they may do so on a laptop in the classroom.  Alternatively, students may bring their own devices like smartphones to view and listen in the classroom with headphones.  If they are absent from school, the lesson is available to them and they can do the practice work on their own. Mary has also found that she has more time for demonstrations and labs as well as time for more frequent formative assessments to monitor students' knowledge acquisition and mastery of each topic.

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