Felicity-Franklin Local School District

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Cardinal Active Learning Lab Takes Off!
Cardinal Active Learning Lab Takes Off!
Michael Roush, Technology Integration Specialist
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Felicity students are learning to make, and making to learn! A new Cardinal Active Learning Lab has been established to support K-12 teachers and students implementing innovative learning strategies.

Planning for the Cardinal Active Learning Lab started last school year. Dr. Kathy Frye, Curriculum Director, identified several grants to support the new space.The district worked with Michele Timmons, President of EnvisionEd Plus, and Michael Roush, Technology Integration Specialist with Forward Edge, to develop grant submissions to help acquire equipment. The Cardinal Active Learning Lab features a pair of Dremel 3D printers, a Dremel laser cutter / engraver, a ViewSonic 65” interactive display, a set of eight Steelcase Verb whiteboards, powered workbenches, and flexible seating options.

During the first three quarters of the 2018-2019 school year, nearly 75% of Felicity-Franklin students have participated in at least one activity in, or supported by, the Cardinal Active Learning Lab. Over 125 individual class sessions met in the space during the first three quarters.

For me, it’s exciting to see how many teachers have really embraced the opportunity to create unique learning opportunities for their students. Doing something new can be a little scary, but when the students see what they can do, and the teachers see what the students come up with, the enthusiasm just keeps growing!

The Cardinal Active Learning Lab provides space and supplies for students to work through the entire five-step design process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test). Collaboration space allows students to define and analyze problems, come up with ideas for possible solutions together, and sketch them out. Build space gives students equipment and materials to make models of their ideas and refine them. Finished products can be presented in the room, or published to a global audience.

One of the most popular resources has been a green screen photography and videography kit.  Using “chroma key” technology, students can record video of themselves on chosen backgrounds.  Students have used the green screen to create music videos, information-conveying newscasts from historic periods, book trailers, infomercials for various careers and countries, and student-developed product advertisements.

Innovative practices naturally find a great deal of support in the Cardinal Active Learning Lab. Students move from being mere consumers of content to creators of content, taking what they learn and using it in new and different ways.