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    Homecoming Weekend to support Technology for the 21st Century Classroom in the Livingston Public Schools
    September 25, 2012 - Over the past two years, the Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) has donated $30,000 to the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) as part of a strategic fund-raising effort that aligns with the district’s strategic plan. Working with Central Office Administration and in partnership with the Parent-Teacher Council of Livingston (P-T Council), the umbrella organization for all of the individual school PTA’s and H.S.A’s, the goal was to coordinate efforts to supply all schools with document cameras and turn-key training.

    This year, the proceeds from LEF-sponsored homecoming activities, October 5-7 and the LEF portion of proceeds earned from the Livingston 5-K Run, October 14, will again go toward the purchase of technology districtwide.

    On Thursday, September 20, Phyllis Gendleman, LHS class of 1972, and Heidi Cislo, both members of LEF met with Dan Calligaro, Science K-12 Supervisor for LPS for a demonstration on the uses of the document camera for classroom instruction.

    “The size of a small desk lamp, the document camera is portable and much more versatile than its predecessor, the overhead projector,” Calligaro said. Also known as a ‘Lady Bug’ or ‘Elmo’, the document camera is classroom technology that can be used to actively engage students in the learning process. Visual learners can benefit from the use of a classroom document camera by seeing small items, text, demonstrations in a much bigger way. Hands-on learners can also benefit from the use of a document camera by allowing them to be the ones placing objects or items for viewing and explaining what they are showing. Planned lessons come to life and can incorporate the interactive component of today’s classroom by allowing for organic ‘teachable moments’ meant to encourage meaningful curiosity and student interest while taking into account the diverse needs of the students.

    document camera Items placed ‘under’ the document camera are not only reflected off of a screen, white board or Smart Board, but are visible on a computer screen which allows for the teacher to interact with the projected image from the keyboard, save the image to the computer to share for future discussion or to post to a website for students who may want to see it once again for reinforcement of content concepts or for students who were absent. Actions can also be recorded as video, so that for example, science experiments can be performed for the whole class to see easily from their seats while taking notes or to be replayed.

    Objects can be projected, books can be read and easily seen, handwritten notes or newspaper articles can be shared. “We can even project the image from slides placed under the lens of a microscope,” Mr. Calligaro instructed. He continued, “When we study pond water, often it is difficult to find an abundance of specific organisms. If one student identifies something of interest on his or her slide, instead of everyone crowding around one microscope, it can actually be projected onto the screen for the whole class to see and generate discussion. It can also be saved to the computer, so that if we don’t find that organism during the next class, the teacher can bring up the previously recorded image.” Use of the document camera also reduces the need to make multiple copies, helping for a green environment.

    More information about Technology for the 21st Century Classroom will be made available on the LEF Website.

    “We appreciate all of our volunteers from the Livingston Education Association (LEA), teachers and staff, school administration, PTA’s and HSA’s, student and township service organizations as well as individual and business donors for their past support and hope that they will continue to assist us in our effort to maintain strong schools and a strong community,” said Heidi Cislo, LEF President.

    LEF encourages people to attend the LHS Hall of Fame Reception, attend Lance’s Lounge at Swede’s and participate in the Livingston 5-K Run as way to celebrate education and community, but also as a way to enhance education in our classrooms. Information about Homecoming Weekend and direct donations can also be made by going to www.livingston.org/lef.