Highlights From Durgee Junior High School

Now that students at Durgee Junior High School have settled into the second marking period of the year, the school would like to highlight some of its accomplishments and student achievements to keep community members up to date with news from the school.

Technology in instruction

Because technology plays a large role in students' daily lives, Durgee Junior High School is emphasizing the importance of technology in the classroom this year to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Principal Bonnie

Van Benschoten said that some of the technologies the school will be focusing on are blogging, podcasts and video conferencing. For the school's half-day professional development activity in September, all of Durgee's teaching staff participated in training on how to infuse technology into the content areas of math, English, social studies, science and languages. Lindsay Cesari, the school's library media specialist, said the teaching staff is currently enjoying working with blogs and students are excited about blogging as well, particularly the more introverted students who are somewhat reluctant to participate in class discussions. Blogging provides these students with a voice, so to speak, another avenue to share their thoughts and opinions.

OCM BOCES recently awarded a $1,100 grant to Cesari and two of her colleagues, Lisa Froelick, a ninth-grade global studies teacher, and Melissa Julian, secondary technology instructor, to develop a blogging project in which Durgee students will collaborate with students in another country through blogging. The school is also experimenting with video conferencing. In November, the school hosted its first virtual field trip for ninth-grade global studies students. Through video conferencing, the students worked with an educator from the Milwaukee Public Museum to learn about mummies.

Van Benschoten said that Durgee's teaching staff is reviewing the application of technology in the curriculum once a month during department and faculty meetings in order to gauge progress and to identify opportunities for increasing staff awareness of the utilization of technology in the classroom.

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