Summit's Franklin School Tech Team Explore Technology
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 • 12:06pm
The Tech Team at Summit's Franklin School is giving a group of fourth and fifth graders an opportunity to use their advanced technology skills.
Begun last school year by librarian Loreli Stochaj and fourth grader teacher Lauren Troisi, the Tech Team was formed in response to the Summit Public Schools' initiative to enhance all students' media literacy skills.
"As an initial step in our media literacy initiative, we chose to develop a pilot program focusing on our students who already had exceptional technology skills," explained Ms. Stochaj. The top five technologically adept students were selected from each fourth grade class and invited to join the Tech Team. Following some basic tech training, pairs of students were then assigned to make an iMovie about a holiday of their choosing. They were responsible for all aspects of the production - planning, script writing, visuals, music, and editing. Although the iMovies were not completed by the end of last school year, the students finished their projects after they became fifth graders.
"They did all of the work themselves," said Ms. Stochaj. "We only provided a bit of guidance." She said the plan is to combine these iMovies into a TV show for broadcasting throughout Franklin School.
Scott Greenblatt, a fifth grader is a second-year Tech Team member. "Being on the team lets advanced tech kids rise above their grade levels," said Scott, who claims he's really "into technology."
"My dad is into technology too, and he taught me a lot," Scott said. "And we learn a lot from the other team members. We teach each other." Scott said he uses both a PC and a mini Mac computer; he especially likes editing photos.
"I've been working on a project about school," Scott said. "I'm taking pictures of the gym and other places that I'll make into a movie and will post on the school website." Scott is referring to the Summit Schools' internal website, Connections, which is not publicly accessible.
This school year, a new crew of fourth graders joined the Tech Team, but were selected through an application process that included an evaluation of their technology skills. The new members have been partnered with fifth graders who are teaching them the initial "first year" skills. The Tech Team meets one morning each week at 7:45 a.m. The fifth graders attend every week and the fourth graders every other week.