In 2013, the Cutrona Family Foundation generously funded the purchase of iPads for all of Hill School faculty members and created a new grant program to encourage teachers to be innovative in the classroom. We are grateful to the Cutrona Family - Sal and Nanette along with their sons, Dante '99 and Sal '06 - for these annual innovation grants that inspire our faculty to think creatively and enhance our students' learning.
Elizabeth Dollhopf, George D. Senter Chair of Mathematics and Senior Master of Mathematics | TI-84 calculators, Ti-84 Emulator Software, Camtasia Software for filming “flipped” videos, Verb tables for collaborative classrooms, two Document cameras
Thanks to the Cutrona Family Grant, Hill's new Integrated Math (IM) program had a successful start. All IM students now are required to use the TI-84 graphing calculators; IM teachers now are equipped with the same calculators and the accompanying emulator software that allows teachers to project the work on the board. The Department also purchased more "Document" cameras that allow students to display their work quickly to the class and provide fodder for discussion without wasting time.
Math teachers have been able to "flip" their classrooms, by using Camtasia software that was purchased with the grant. The idea of the flipped classroom is that students would start investigating an idea in class, take notes on it at home, and then work on problems the next day in small groups. This keeps the intrigue and practice in the classroom, thus allowing teachers to elicit new ideas and correct mistakes before they become a habit. The straightforward transmission of knowledge is done at home, allowing the students to take their time writing the notes, pausing a video when needed, and carefully thinking through and cementing ideas they saw in class.
According to Mrs. Dollhopf, "While every student is different, and we want to teach in various styles to appeal to a broad spectrum as well as teach them how learn in different ways, the flipped classroom, when done right, is very effective. Camtasia is the best software available for making dynamic, interesting videos to capture their attention."
The Department also purchased Verb tables with attached white boards that encourage natural collaboration and creativity. Mrs. Dollhopf notes, "The new desks create a fantastic collaborative space in a very natural way. Additionally, the boards can be used as separators during tests that help the students focus and relieves them of cheating concerns."
Shannon Summers '05, Instructor of History | Two murals (World Trade Centers and Times Square) and two television monitors in hallway of third floor of Academic Center
Two murals and large-screen television monitors were installed in the hallway of the history side of the third floor of the Academic Center to expose and educate students in current events. One of the monitors has a "Today in History" application running at all times, while the other live streams current news and events. These monitor have allowed history teachers to bring learning outside the classroom. According to Ms. Summer, "I ask my students to look at the monitors each day before coming into the classroom. There have even been occasions that we break away from the course material to talk about what happened in the past on a given day."
Additionally, the live stream exposes Hill students to what is happening in the world. Summers notes, "By bringing the news to our students, we are making them better global citizens. These monitors have enhanced my Current Events classes, in which we spend the entire class period talking about what is happening in the world. Students are now able to go out into the hallway, listen to a breaking story, and then report it back to their classmates."
Steve Notebaert, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach | Teambuildr software, five iPads and stands, and a SmartTV
The implementation of Teambuildr and iPad kiosks in the weight room and athletics training room have played an important role in promoting comprehensive training protocols and the continued development of Hill's student-athletes. The Teambuildr software significantly improves organization and communication between coaches and athletes. The program acts as a digital weight card for student-athletes and coaches, centralizes and stores all recorded student-athlete information and evaluations, and provides video demonstrations and information supplied by the strength coaches and athletics trainers. The digital weight card helps reduce costs and expended materials, while allowing coaches to remain on the floor coaching. These features significantly enhance the in-season, off-season, injury prevention, and rehabilitation training protocols developed by the strength coach and athletics trainers.
Student-athletes use the iPads to track their workouts while training in groups, or individually if they forget their mobile device. All participating student-athletes are provided login information from their coach. They can access the training protocol assigned by the strength coach or athletics trainer through the iPads that are strategically placed within the athletics training room and weight room. The Smart TV allows athletes and athletics trainers to more readily visualize the rehabilitation programs they are following.