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Teachers Learn About Active Learning At BOCES Workshop

Area teachers learned about active learning at a recent seminar.
Area teachers learned about active learning at a recent seminar. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Educators from all over the Hudson Valley got a feel for how active learning should take place at the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center’s Active Learning Center in Harrison on Aug. 22 and 23.

The interactive seminar helped educators learn to teach in an active learning space and to prepare for their own transition to an educational setting that is intended to be more flexible, mobile and engaging than that of the traditional classroom.

Teachers from the Byram Hills, Croton Harmon, Hastings, Ossining, Pelham, New Rochelle and Rye City school districts were the first to participate.

“We wanted participants to see what it feels like to learn and teach in such an environment,” Model Schools Coordinator Leslie Accardo said in a statement.

During the workshop participants had an opportunity to create their own diagram for a learning space using a Google Drawing template, in addition to being mindful of the principles of variety in seating levels, work surfaces, and zones.

"Active learning in a digital-age classroom is about not just transforming the space but transforming our thinking and our actual practice in several areas including space and environment, instructional design, teaching pedagogies and then technology,” Senior Facilitator for Educational Technology Randy Hall said.

Dr. Julie Marshal, an instructor at Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, S.C., joined the group by WebEx, sharing her experiences and explaining how her active learning space works.

“Getting the functionality aspect of this is hard,” said Gabriela Murphy, a Spanish teacher at Rye City High School. “But once it’s in place, it really sets the tone for what is to come.”

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