Last spring the RSU22 Education Foundation was able to award ten mini grants to teachers throughout the school district. These grants, which are made possible by the generous support of businesses and members of the community enable the Education Foundation to supplement classroom budgets and promote inspired educational programming to the students of RSU22. One of the grants awarded during the spring grant cycle was to Ms. O’Brien’s at the Weatherbee School for the purchase of a document camera. The Education Foundation recently checked with Ms.O’Brien to see how the grants were helping her to bring inspiring education to her students.
RSU22 Education Foundation: “What was the inspiration/genesis for this project?”
Ms. O’Brien: “Last year I borrowed a high quality document camera from a friend at the Maine State Aquarium to use during my ocean unit. It was amazing how well I could teach about ocean animals. I could show the live animal up on the board and we could discuss what it was doing, why it was moving like it was, and we shared the exact same experience in real time. It wasn't a movie or something that someone else posted online, it was our animal, in our classroom, moving right that very second. The best part was the zoom feature. It would zoom in up to 12x's the size.”
RSU22 Education Foundation “How is the camera used by the students?”
Ms. O’Brien: “I started to use it for science but found it was perfect for math, writing and reading too. In math we use it every day. I put a copy of the student journal up for us all to work with as a group. In writing we can edit student's writing together right on their paper and in reading, a book passage can simply be opened up and shared on the spot.”
RSU22 Education Foundation: “How have students learned to use the camera and how has it aided their education?”
Ms. O’Brien: “The students are all pro's at using the document camera and daily they share their work or share projects using the document camera.”
RSU22 Education Foundation: “How has it helped your educational practice?”
Ms. O’Brien: ”As a teacher, I am saving prep time, not running off expensive overhead transparencies My student's have much better lessons because science is in full color, live and in real time. I am in awe each time we watch live animals dramatically magnified on our classroom board.”
Please consider supporting classroom programs such as this by making a contribution to the RSU22 Education Foundation. Visit our website at rsu22educationfoundation.org to learn more.