The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

November 26, 2013

Classroom innovation

(Continued)

The room and teaching methods are meant to break down the barriers a normal classroom establishes and allow students to collaborate and exercise critical thinking in ways the traditional classroom might hinder while using the abundant technology.

“It’s sophisticated,” sophomore Lexie Schluns said. “The mics, the new laptops, the new TVs. We don’t have anything else like this here.”

The $300,000 room is quite the departure from the space’s former purpose as a storage room. Funds to transform the space were split between the district’s capital budget, the Clinton County Development Association and private grants.

Science classes such as CHS teacher Spencer Mesick’s have been the only ones to use the technology-rich room since it debuted roughly two months ago, but classes from across all disciplines will eventually use it.

Students are often given real-world applications for the skills and concepts they’ve learned such as how to identify a genetic disorder in a baby while working under time constraints and only being able to ask their teachers a limited number of questions.

Another piece of the dynamic and engaging environment the innovation room provides: allowing students to take chances and defend their decisions.

“You should have a reason for what you’ve done,” CHS Principal Karinne Tharaldson Jones said. “I think that’s where we’re moving in education is away from the true/false, you’re all right or you’re all wrong to how did you get there and why do you think that’s important. Because that is going to apply so many more ways down the road.”

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