New Hampshire’s US Senator Maggie Hassan and Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), visited ConVal Regional High School on October 13. Hassan and Rosenworcel were interested in how technology and Internet connectivity made a difference in the instructional and learning practices at the high school level. Superintendent Kimberly Saunders and Principal Gib West guided the classroom tour.
The group first visited Greg Leonard’s Social Studies classroom where they interacted with students working in teams, researching non-profit philanthropic organizations. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the YES program on social issues at the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures in Peterborough.
Next on the tour was Krystal Morin’s Music Lab where students are currently working with film clips from existing movies, both animated films and regular movies, to compose and rescore soundtracks. The student-created compositions are added back to the films and further augmented with sound effects. The final products show how the mood and overall impact of a film can change just with the manipulation of its acoustic ambiance.
In Mr. Wickham’s room, the string ensemble demonstrated the many ways in which technology has changed music instruction. Students can access music scores online, rescore existing arrangements on their Chromebooks to fit their instrument, use the tablets to read the music while playing without having to flip paper copies, and practice playing music by ear with online video resources in preparation for a live performance. Students demonstrated both self-scored music and traditional fiddle playing for the visitors.
The tour concluded in the ConVal Library Learning Commons where Senator Hassan and Commissioner Rosenworcel interacted with students who were engaged in taking Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) classes online. These classes provide important opportunities for students who cannot fit certain classes into their existing schedules or seek to extend their learning with self-paced courses, in addition to their other classes. Since the newly deployed Chromebooks allow students to participate in VLACS courses at school and at home, they are an example of anytime, anywhere learning in the blended learning environment that Conval Regional High School provides for its students.
The tour concluded with Senator Hassan and Commissioner Rosenworcel receiving some ConVal High School windbreakers and knit caps.