Dover Bay Secondary School students danced their way into a state-of-the-art, 21st century classroom.
The school learned last month that a music video parody of the popular Gangnam Style song by Psy, which students and staff produced for the annual Flip Your Classroom – eInstruction Classroom Makeover Contest, won the grand prize of $30,000 worth of cutting-edge educational technology for the school.
Representatives from the U.S.-based eInstruction came to Dover Tuesday to meet staff and students, and deliver some of the technology.
Shelly Bodine, the company’s vice-president of marketing, said the company is outfitting one classroom with everything needed for state-of-the-art, technology-based instruction.
It includes an electronic whiteboard for the front of the classroom, mini whiteboards on which students can do group work to share on the main whiteboard, and a student response system that allows the teacher to pose a question and have students reply on clicker devices.
This system allows teachers to collect feedback immediately and see where students need extra support as they deliver the lesson, said Bodine.
Michael Bamford, a Grade 12 student at Dover Bay and one of the lead actors in the music video, said the teacher will be able to work on a tablet, wandering around the class, instead of standing directly in front of the whiteboard with his or her back to the class.
Students will be able to sync their own mobile devices to the lesson and this type of learning will cater to those who might otherwise be left behind, he said.
“It definitely makes it more accessible, more interesting and more entertaining,” said Bamford. “With our society, almost everything is geared towards technology. Our youngest generation is reading books from tablets and iPads.”
Nicholas Croome, a Grade 10 student who was the production assistant for the music video, said the technology helps students grasp concepts better by doing, rather than watching the teacher do it.
Students and staff spent three weeks in October producing the music video parody after business education teacher Denise Montgomery found the contest.
The endeavour involved about 300 students from 14 different classes and the school’s dance teacher taught students the dance moves seen in the original video.
In November, Dover Bay’s video became one of five shortlisted in the high school category from dozens of videos across Canada and the United States and student efforts ramped up even further from there – students were out soliciting votes in public places from one end of Nanaimo to the other – as the video had to secure the most votes to win the contest.
Sal Rahman, eInstruction’s vice-president of sales, said this is the sixth year the company has run a Flip Your Classroom contest and the idea is to help boost teacher effectiveness and student performance.
“We’re all about dynamic engagement and being able to do formative assessment in the classroom,” he said.
To view the video, please go to http://flipyourclassroom.einstruction.com.