- Seaford Union Free School District
Seaford Students, Teachers Turn to Digital Learning Tools
Teachers in the Seaford School District are using multiple digital resources to provide remote instruction and communicate with students for the remainder of the academic year during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have received extensive training on the different tools, allowing them to choose the ones that work best for their classes.
Seaford Middle School teacher Janene Diglio, who teaches sixth grade math and science, connects with her students using Microsoft Teams for live video chats and assigning and reviewing coursework. With Screencastify, she created tutorial videos showing students how to use the different functions of Teams.
Ms. Diglio also employs several tools for interactive lessons including EDpuzzle, Nearpod and Quizlet. With Microsoft Forms and Quizizz, she can give quizzes to assess student learning. Her students also have access to Scholastic ScienceWorld online resources and IXL for extra math practice.
“I use a lot of tools, but I feel there is no-one-size-fits-all,” she said, “so I try and use a variety to engage my students and see what works best for them.”
For Angela Fiederlein, a second grade teacher at Seaford Harbor Elementary School, the main platform she uses to communicate with students is Remind, allowing her to message both the children and their parents. She can also use it to review student work and provide feedback.
Flipgrid gives students an interactive learning experience. She creates videos explaining assignments and then students can submit their own video responses, which can be shared with the entire class. The Flipgrid mixtape option lets her combine all of the responses into a single video. Another app that her students are really excited about is Padlet, in which they can respond to a prompt and add a photo, video or GIF.
“This type of response to an assignment allows students to incorporate technology and be more creative,” she said.
World language classes are based on communication, so Seaford High School Spanish teacher Robert Maloney has stayed in regular contact with students to help them continue to develop their language skills. He also uses the Remind app, so he can send messages to all of students, specific classes or individual students. It connects to his phone so he can quickly respond to their questions.
Assignments are shared on Microsoft OneNote, where he can post PDF documents of worksheets and notes, PowerPoint presentations and videos pertaining to the topic they are studying. For face-to-face communication, Mr. Maloney meets virtually with students on Microsoft Teams and Zoom. He also has students submit Flipgrid videos, so he can assess their Spanish-speaking abilities.
“Speaking is one of the modalities that we as foreign language teachers must assess,” he said, “so this is another great example of how technology will help to allow the students to show their abilities in the language.”
Ann-Marie Motisi, a second grade teacher at Seaford Elementary School, uses multiple tools including Microsoft Teams, Flipgrid and Zoom. Book Creator provides her students with a forum to publish their writing, while Epic! gives them access to digital books. PebbleGo and BrainPOP Jr. help them review science and social studies material. One exciting adventure for her class, she said, was a virtual field trip an aquarium.
“Learning is ongoing and we have met the challenge of adapting to distance learning,” Ms. Fiederlein said. “As the weeks and days continue, teachers are committed to becoming familiar with and utilizing new platforms for learning to engage students and ensure that learning continues.”