Hawthorne Students: Live from Brazil!

The role of the library in the student learning experience has changed. Today's Library Learning Centers (LLCs) are an active, engaging learning environment. Libraries are no longer a place where students only consume information, rather they are also a place where students go to create and collaborate on projects. Libraries are becoming the hub of learning in schools. It's common to see multiple groups or classes working in a library at the same time.

Thanks to our donors, several grants have been awarded to district libraries that allow them to begin transforming their spaces - a priority of the District. The green screen at Hawthorne is an example of a 21st century library enhancement.

Much like the technology commonly used during television weather forecasts, the green screen equipment enables students to create digital video projects or make presentations in front of the green screen to make it appear as they are reporting from a location anywhere in the world.

Soon students from Hawthorne Elementary School will be reporting live from a Brazilian rainforest, the Alaskan tundra, or the upland plateaus of Thailand thanks to the school’s new Green Screen Studio equipment provided by a grant from the Student Excellence Foundation.

Ashley Young, director of Hawthorne’s Library Learning Center (LLC), envisions that the technology will enhance learning throughout the curriculum. Young and Hawthorne teachers are collaborating to create lessons and develop projects. For instance, for science units, students researching ecosystems can integrate the visual of a rainforest or desert in their work.

To introduce students to the technology, the LLC in partnership with the schools reading specialists are promoting reading with posters “starring” teachers and students. If students feel nervous about presenting in front of their class, they can now present in the green screen studio to build up their confidence.

Hawthorne principal Danielle Moran says that she is excited about the opportunities for students to use the technology to coincide with the curriculum. “The creative possibilities are endless with an iPad and green screen. Personalizing learning is not only a way to increase student achievement, but also a way to motivate and excite kids about learning.”