Let’s take a look at what Mr. Pascolla is doing in his Health class!
by Tony Pascolla
9th Grade Physical Education and Health Teacher
Students in Mr. Pascolla’s freshman health class utilize an interactive web-based software called Google Classroom. Google Classroom offers a blended learning platform for schools to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way. It was introduced as a feature of Google Apps for Education in 2014.
Students use this technology in a way that prepares them for what online classrooms will be like at the university level. Students can post responses to discussion questions, comment on assignments, and download or upload assignments with a simple click of the mouse. Currently, students are investigating social, physical, and emotional wellness with their classmates, then formally presenting their findings. The project and presentation supports development of their public speaking and research skills, and also informs their classmates on new information that will be utilized later in the unit.
Activities like this also help students practice their referencing and citation skills, a huge part of maintaining academic integrity. Being a responsible digital citizen is a top priority to Mr. Pascolla! “I want my students to be aware of their actions online and to be conscious of citing their sources when turning in assignments,” Mr. Pascolla explained.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another. If an issue comes up, like an unexpected student absence, the information can be accessed virtually anywhere. Programs like Google Classroom will be used throughout the semester to provide a platform for student debates, dialogue about projects, and the creation and completion of assignments.