I have recently started observing as well as assisting at the Project school in downtown Bloomington. This week was my first experience at this school and from the moment I walked in a fell in love with the school.
While the school may look like a small building, and the hallways are tight and cluttered, the classrooms are very open and different then a traditional classrooms. There are no personal desks that I have seen and mostly group tables or carpet space for especially the young children to sit, this creates a more collaborative work space for the students.
I came into the school and spoke with Norm Gwantley, the schools tech director and as he puts it, in charge of anything that plugs in. I first met him during the school’s lunch hour where I met one of the groups he helps sponsor where children can come in and practice coding, and create their own websites and mobile applications, as well as research information about technology. Just like other teachers Norm works as an observer and a resource, where students mainly solve problems themselves, or with each other before consulting Norm for questions.
After I was introduced to how the school was run, as well as a classroom I may be able to help in. Norm showed me the one-to-one iPad integration, as well as how everything was set up on the cloud, all software was based through google drive for assignments, and could be shared seamlessly from teachers, to students, to parents.
I was also introduced to the school’s “passion’s” workshops. These are where teachers each hold an hour workshop or class about something that interests them or the students, and students are given the opportunity to decide what they want to learn. These passions range from coding, to puppets. I was excitedly placed in the puppet passion’s and hope to help integrate the students iPad’s to help them create an iMovie of their puppet plays.
For more information about the Bloomington Project school click HERE