Hopkins Students Captured in the Stream

At first glance, it appears that students in Room 212 are performing plays directed by their English Literature teacher. However, a closer look behind the curtain reveals that this performance was extraordinary in more ways than one. Just how did this fifth-grade show at Hopkins School come to be?

Students Create Magical Moments

Co-teachers Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Siegel gave students two short, read-aloud plays from Scholastic Storyworks: The Sword and the Stone, based on the legend of young King Arthur; and The Monster in the Cave, based on  The Odyssey. Students were only instructed to collaborate and assign their own parts. With reader’s theater, students generally run through the script a few times before reading their parts aloud in front of the class. However, this group took the read-aloud texts to a whole new level by turning them into full productions. Students designed the set, made props, created backdrop presentations with Google Slides and rehearsed during their limited class time and indoor recess. They were driven by passion until what unfolded on the stage were two stellar, student-directed performances with two compelling causes. According to our young King Arthur, “It’s fun to do, and it’s for an educational purpose.”

Teachers Conjure Up Technology

Caught up in the current of their students’ excitement, Room 212 teachers arranged an audience of parents and peers from the classroom next door. Since the performance was not planned ahead, the teachers were hoping to record the show and share it with families that could not attend. Enter the technology integrator. We used Google Hangouts On Air for the first time at Hopkins School to stream the live performance. Mrs. Moran set up the Hangout event on her Google+ page and emailed a link to parents letting them know they could catch the plays live or use the link to watch later. That is the magic of Hangouts On Air. As the camera rolls, the feed is live streamed while it is simultaneously recorded to YouTube. It’s a technology that defies both time and valuable disk space. It’s a technology perfectly suited for sharing.

“Thank you so much for arranging the online broadcast, it worked perfectly. I am in Los Angeles for work today and was so happy to be able to see [my child’s] performance.”

~Hopkins Parent Email

Google Hangouts On Air has the potential to open the school up to a world of possibilities. For this first adventure, we used a stationary MacBook Pro to handle the entire stage. In the future, we hope to improve our recording technology so we can capture all the drama as it unfolds. Stay tuned!

By: Steph Doty
 Technology Integration Coordinator
 Hopkins School
 @HopkinsTechLib / @BlendedTeaching
Cross-posted to hpsdigital.org

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