Learning Hack Thursday at High Desert Middle School

Every Thursday, the students in Ben Iverson’s Computer Science and Skills class become the teacher. That is because on “Learning Hack Thursday” three individuals are selected to start class with something that they do with technology that makes learning easier, efficient, interesting or fun.

On the day that I visited, the class started with Mario, who shared how he uses the split-screen view on his iPad to bring up both his notes and the textbook at the same time. That was followed by a pair of students who shared how they set up a Google Slide presentation so that they could collaborate on their science lab.

Although each presentation was brief, a rich classroom dialog often follows. For example, after the screen sharing presentation, I learned something I did not know about an app that I use often! In the app Notability, there is a new “note switcher” view that allows students the ability to work on two notes side by side. Very cool! Ben told me that he challenges the kids to share hacks that tie in with some of the common themes of his computer science and skills class. He stated that even though many students simply share short cuts and tricks for their programming and coding applications, it is pretty easy for him to hack away at some common digital citizenship issues and topics that need to be addressed.

About Scott McDonald

Instructional Technology Coach for the Bend-La Pine School District.