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Hempfield School District: Rocks, fossils and polar bears

02/06/2019 Lancaster Online By Lancaster Online

Students venture far beyond their classrooms, yet remain close to their school desks

In December as part of Heritage Day, Landisville Primary Center students enjoyed field trips from the comfort of their school desks, and earlier that month at East Petersburg Elementary, Diane Kargo’s students in second grade took a virtual field trip to study rocks, minerals and fossils.

These virtual field trips were made possible through the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 Google Expeditions virtual reality kits.

The IU13 provides training for teachers who would like to lead their lessons with a virtual field trip to one of more than 200 destinations using the kits, according to a Hempfield School District news release.

“After completing training through the IU13, I was able to sign-out the VR goggles to use,” said Jadi Redcay, a teacher at Landisville Primary Center.

She then began to expand on the use of the goggles in the classroom. “My students partnered with Sandy McConnell’s first-graders to complete Goggle Expedition tours. Students were able to see different polar animals,’’ she said in the release. “We then connected this experience to a collaborative writing project.”

The advantage of using these virtual reality kits is that teachers can touch on a variety of subjects, to create maximum engagement with a unique experience, and spark student creativity, the release noted.

During the week of Dec. 10-14, Landisville Middle School students were asked to participate in a social media challenge. For every 24 hours a student committed to not using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Houseparty, he or she earned a point for his or her team.

At the end of the week, the team with the most points won the challenge and received a gummy treat.

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An average of 168 students and teachers successfully met the challenge daily. In the end, it was the seventh-grade Knights and Nobles teams that tied for first place.

“As you are likely aware, research supports limits on the use of social media (for youth and adults alike)” Principal Doug Dandridge said in a letter sent home with students.

“Our challenge is designed to help bring awareness to how much social media is in our lives. We are encouraging participants to interact face to face with someone in their community or home in place of that social media time.”

Parents, guardians, families and the community were all encouraged to participate by staying off social media during the week in support of students.

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