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Jason Clark
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Featured Teacher:  Marcia Cornell

Marcia Cornell
Chemistry and SUPA Forensics Teacher
Westhill High School
Westhill Central School District

Marcia Cornell is a Chemistry and Forensics teacher at Westhill High School. She began her second career 16 years ago. Prior to launching her teaching career, Marcia worked in the private sector as a senior project engineer with Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.  

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

During the month of March, Marcia had a unique opportunity to pilot a "Bring Your Own Device" project in collaboration with the CNYRIC's Instructional Technology Team.  The CNYRIC provided 30 mobile devices for students in Marcia's senior-level SUPA Forensics class--10 Chromebooks, 10 iPads, and 10 Google Nexus 7 Tablets.  Prior to deploying the devices with students, Marcia met with the CNYRIC's Model Schools Coordinator, Rob Leo, to plan a unit and integrate a variety of technology tools into her lessons. Her goals were to provide students with a space to collaborate and communicate as they prepared a presentation. She chose to integrate two main tools into her teaching, Edmodo and Google Drive. Edmodo provided a space for Marcia to deliver digital documents and links for students to analyze. Students were able to post notes, reply to other students' posts, and collaborate in small groups. Google Drive provided the students with a space to collaboratively build their culminating presentations. In addition to using the mobile devices in Marcia's classroom, students were also afforded the opportunity to use their devices throught the school with their teachers' permission. They utilized apps like Evernote to take notes for all of their classes and keep them organized in one place on the Web. Further, students brought the devices home and treated them as if they were their own.
How have students benefitted from your technology integration initiatives?
Students thoroughly enjoyed being part of the pilot project. They raved about Edmodo as it provided them with a sense of "community" where they could communicate with their classmates, and only their classmates,  24/7. It afforded them an opportunity to extend the learning process beyond the four walls of the classroom as they could post notes and share links anytime, anywhere. They also appreciated the convenience of having access to computing technology in all of their classes. See below for student testimonials in response to a survey that was administered at the beginning and end of the project:

"The biggest benefit for me is being able to use a device of my choice as I please in the classroom to facilitate to my own individual learning tendencies and habits. I like that we can use the devices at home and at school in the classes that we prefer. In SUPA Forensics, Mrs. Cornell has tried to integrate our devices into her lesson plans with the Edmodo accounts and posting assignments online. However, to my surprise, I feel that the true test of the Pilot is the reflected in allowing students to use the devices in other classes. Teachers have not changed their lesson plans as immensely as Mrs. Cornell has, so it gives us the chance to try to use the devices to do what we had done in our classes before. I feel that taking notes is much easier and I feel that I am not using as much paper because the assignments are on the iPad and I do not have to print longer documents. Also, being that the device is "mine" I can access it without going to the computer lab or library and trying to find a computer or trying to bug teachers for a pass out of a study hall to do something that will take only a few minutes. Thus, the BYOD is absolutely perfect for accommodating to the basic everyday needs of a student making learning much more convenient. And, who wouldn't want to use an iPad to learn? After seeing Apple's commercials about using Apple products in education, I debated whether or not the transition could be that seamless and how much advantageous it could be to the leaning process. Now, I'm realizing that it has been very helpful and enjoyable. After participating in this Pilot, I am getting an iPad to use in college with my MacBook Pro and iPhone so that I can connect all of the devices and use them collectively. "

"The biggest benefit in my opinion for participating is that it is introducing all of us to what is going to soon become a modern and new classroom setting. It is introducing us to new systems of learning using technology that I believe can be really helpful for when we move on to college."

"The biggest benefit has been being able to integrate the use of my device in all of my classes. It has been very helpful in the sense that I have instant access to all of my notes and the internet."

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