Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hoover City Schools is CERTIFIED!

Digital media and technology are evolving at a dizzying pace, both unlocking extraordinary opportunities and posing real risks for young people. Students are using the immense power of the Internet and mobile technology to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways never before imagined, both in and out of the classroom. But issues that emerge from this 24/7 "connected culture," such as cyberbullying, privacy lapses, and uncertainty about which information to trust online, are surfacing both in schools and at home.

Hoover City Schools sees these as teachable moments. We believe that digital citizenship skills have become essential for students in the 21st century, especially in schools like ours that are using technology to transform learning. That's why we are committed to teaching our students how to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly. Hoover City Schools has just been approved as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School District, an honor that recognizes our efforts in teaching digital literacy and citizenship to young people and engaging the entire school community in this important discussion. This recognition is provided by Common Sense Education, part of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

Our schools are one of the more than 100,000 schools across the country that use Common Sense Education's groundbreaking education resources. As a result, our students are better equipped to navigate the digital world and use devices for learning.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Le Mois de l'histoire des femmes (Women's History Month)

To celebrate Women's History Month, my upper level French classes at Spain Park High School are researching francophone (French speaking) women in the domains of business, scientific research, and civil service.  Keeping their own interests and passions in mind, the students chose their "Experte Francophone" from this database of women from all over the world.  These women are current professional lawyers, professors, entrepreneurs, accountants, human rights activists, and nutritionists, just to name a few.  They live in Haiti, France, Ghana, Senegal, Switzerland, and lots of other countries where French is an official or important language.  

I'm so excited about this assignment because my students are writing emails to these experts in hopes of a response which we can share with the class during the presentations.  They're writing real messages to real people, so the stakes of their understanding their professions and making sure the language they use makes sense are much higher! Not only is this great practice for the email writing portion on the AP exam, but it's a tangible way to show my students the reach the French language has in the world and in business.  I also hope it inspires my students- these women are successful because they have worked hard and made education a priority.  They are passionate about the work they do, whether it be the study of rain forest ants or sustainable architecture.  

Already today one of my students came to me between classes to tell me the woman she contacted responded to all of her questions!  This student was so excited, and I can tell she is really engaged!  Maybe one day my students will have open their inboxes to messages from high school students hoping to answer questions for a research project about them! 

Danelle Cash