Peer Presenting With Prezi (Parts I and II:Context and Students)

2 05 2011

Community Context:

My digital humanities project takes place at Bayside High School. The town of Bayside can be classified as suburban, though there is no major city in the area. The town had a population of just under 40,000 people, according to the 2000 census. The school itself, however, serves parts of Bayside County that are not within the limits of , including some very rural areas.

Bayside hold a major state university within town limits. The university is large, attracting undergraduates, professors and their families, as well as graduate students of many ages to Bayside from all over the world. The children of these people mostly attend Bayside High School, with no real private school, besides a small Christian academy and a K-8 school, exist in the area. Diversity, therefore, is abundant in the school.

The technology available at the school is advanced, but perhaps not at the level that it could be. Bayside High School recently had a roof collapse in part of their school, and as such, is displaced for the next few years at the middle school. Within every classroom is a faculty computer and a projector. After looking around, I have found about half of the classrooms in the school are equipped with SmartBoard, but not every classroom does. There is a set of Flip Cameras available for use by classes, as well, though I did not use this resource. There are also three computer labs equipped with 25 computers for student use in each, as well as the Library, also known as the ‘Media Resource Center’.

Bayside County Public School has an entire department devoted to technology in the schools. Bayside High School shares a support staff person by the name of Bert with the elementary schools in and around Bayside. He, along with the library staff, are available for the faculty to advise them about the technology available in the school. BCPS also has two resources by the names of ‘Portal’ and ‘Moodle’. Portal is the grade book for all BCPS teachers, and allows students (and parents) to view grades. Moodle is a ‘cloud’ website, where teachers can set up their courses and allow students to take quizzes and tests and access resources from class both in school and at home.

Students:

The students that I am working with are, for the large part, incredibly highly motivated in an intelligent. 90% of all students go to some form of higher education, with 70% of all students at Bayside High School end up in a four year university after graduation, which is an incredibly high percentage for the surrounding area. Of the four classes that I teach, three of them are considered ‘Honors’, which takes both intellectual ability, as well as motivation, to succeed in.

As alluded to in my first section, a large majority of the community in Bayside is college educated. Whether it be business people attracted to the area by the corporate research facilities created by the major state university in town, or by tenure at the university itself; a large amount of students in my classroom have grown up with highly educated and supportive parents. The average grades in each of my three honors classes are 86,88, and 91. They are, with the exception of a few students, motivated and intelligent.

Each of my classes contains a range of interests and abilities. My first period could be considered a ‘jock’ class, as half of the class is very involved with the athletic department in the school. In particular, a good number of the students play soccer and softball. One strength of this class, in general, is their ability to complete independent work efficiently. Though I have them at 7:30 AM, most students are awake and aware to complete work diligently when it has been assigned to them.

My second honors class contains a group with a wide variety of interests. Some are interested in the arts, some athletics. This group takes the longest out of the honors classes to complete an assignment. This has led to many of my assignments with them being cut short, leaving many students only partially done with an assignment. Perhaps partially due to this ‘slothful’ nature, this group is great at asking questions, and trying to get details out of the method of learning, whether it be lecture, text, video, etc.

My final honors class is the most inherently intelligent and motivated class that I have all day. Like my second honors class, this group is very diverse in their interests, but work quite well together as a whole. These students work well in groups, although they do tend to take longer on assignments while in groups. The answers and thoughts that I have received out of these students when asking tough, high-level Bloom’s Taxonomy type questions, is astounding.

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