South Sevier High School
Sevier School District would like to thank the citizens of Sevier County for their support of the 2013 voted leeway. That leeway has made many of these wonderful technology enhancements possible.
Mr. Brady is a teacher who is passionate about technology and student engagement. iPad use in his classroom has been extremely beneficial in enhancing student focus, learning, and keeping students engaged. Mr. Brady uses apps to take attendance, which saves timeand helps him with student names and relationships.
Sevier School District would like to thank the citizens of Sevier County for their support of the 2013 voted leeway. That leeway has made many wonderful technology enhancements possible and will continue to be a source for student learning and achievement for years to come.
Mr. Brady is a teacher who is passionate about technology and student engagement. iPad use in his classroom has been extremely beneficial in enhancing student focus, learning, and keeping students engaged. Mr. Brady uses apps to take attendance, which saves time and helps him with student names and relationships. The first thing students do as they walk into class is grab an iPad and for approximately 20 minutes the students are engaged with interactive teaching and learning tools such as Nearpod, Socrative, Quizlet Live, and Kahoot!, Kahoot! and Quizlet live are online tools that takes the entire curriculum and breaks it into bits and pieces, making the learning experience informative, fun and engaging. They create an environment of fun competition where students master concepts, all while playing games! This has been particularly useful for those students who are very shy, or who do not always actively participate in class. Technology prices have dropped substantially over the last few years making it possible for Mr. Brady to have and 80-inch 4K flat screen TV and a surround sound system in his classroom, giving students the best visual and auditory experience possible, which is important for detailed scientific work.
“The 70 minute class period has fit perfectly into this model, it has enabled us to maximize the use of our iPads in the science classroom.” Mr. Brady said he is lucky to be set up with one iPad to one student. Students do share iPads from class to class, but using apps such as Notability and Google Drive, students are able to store their items privately on the iPad. He said the digital tools available reach students’ specific and individual learning needs. Almost all of the Internet tools used are very formative and used as practice, but when the summative assessment comes students are prepared and ready. A recent addition to the iPads is a lockdown browser. This allows Mr. Brady to give tests on the iPads securely, thus preventing students from being tempted to cheat by using the Internet to “google” answers.
Mr. Brady reports that the Canvas Learning Management System is extremely valuable to him as a science teacher. The Dropout Detective feature is one tool that allows a teacher to see how students are doing in all of their other courses. Teachers are able to comment on student’s areas that may be very crucial to learning in other contents. Communication with students and parents is much easier using Canvas. For example, Canvas has a feature that allows him to send an automatic message to students who are missing an assignment, or to remind students that an assignment or quiz is due. The features of Canvas allow students to do many assignments on their own time. Many students will take quizzes or do assignments on a bus headed to a sporting event or while on a family vacation. This has also been helpful in situations where a student must miss a lot of class due to illness or family activities. Mr. Brady’s classroom is 100% paper free, and all assignments are submitted electronically. Assignments can be graded very quickly and accurately using SpeedGrader, which is encorporated into Canvas. Parental involvement with Canvas has helped keep kids on track with assignments. It is easy to message parents in Canvas to let them know how their student is doing. Many colleges and universities use Canvas, and students who are comfortable with Canvas in high school transition very easily into the college environment. He currently has a daughter attending SUU. He said that every class there is done in Canvas, and all homework and assignment are done electronically.
Principal Randy Madsen said “Mr. Brady has been an innovative user of technology for a long time. The school district voted leeway has given him the funds to use more and better technology in all of his Science and CTE classes. He has the ability to mix technology with direct instruction to keep students interested and increase their depth of knowledge. Students are engaged and excited about the learning that is going on in his class.”
When asked why teachers should use technology in the classroom he said, “Technology is moving forward… you can’t run away from it. Teachers should use this valuable tool just as they do in their personal life. You might as well get on board. What will students face? What will they need in their future? We could be preparing students for a world that will no longer exist. I know of people who fight against the use of technology in schools, but they themselves can’t live without their cell phones or tablets! Technology helps overcome obstacles and is a vehicle to make things easier and more useful and appropriate. The key here is using a variety of diverse methods of technology.” Technology is not perfect, but each year that goes by, things just get better and better. For instance, we used to complain about Internet speeds and downtime. Today, this is rarely a problem, and having access to the Internet is virtually ubiquitous. Mr. Brady mentioned that he still uses other methods of learning such as “hands-on” items like rocks and minerals, dissections, and chemistry labs, but these too are enhanced with technology. Mr. Brady rarely uses traditional textbooks in the classroom setting, but instead relies on electronic textbooks. Electronic textbooks are highly interactive, and are kept constantly up-to-date whereas a paper textbook quickly becomes outdated. Students may access these textbooks anywhere, even outside the classroom. With programs like CK-12, teachers can make their own custom textbooks to meet their needs.
“Technology has changed so much even in the last three years. I feel that my students know my expectations more and with greater clarity with the use of technology. This has helped me build a well-oiled machine. I feel that if I for some reason didn’t show up to class, my students would know exactly what we are doing. They rarely ask what are we doing today? They already know. We have to treat our students as the young adults that they are if we expect them to behave as adults. We have to multitask with them... this is their world and we owe it to the students...We will have so much more success with them if we make good instructional use of technology.”