Corbett Prep Black History Month Projects
Encourage Discovery Through Technology
Black History Month provides opportunities for delving deeper into history and technology.
Feb. 24, 2014 (TAMPA, Fla.) – The faces of civil rights leaders, intellectuals, athletes and artists flashed on the SMART Board next to sixth grader Trevor Mayberry as his Corbett Prep classmates answered questions about important African-Americans in history.
Using a quiz format, the student-led presentation provided a fun springboard into a discussion on the plethora of contributions made by African-Americans. Trevor had created an interactive PowerPoint presentation where students rushed to the SMART Board to tap on a button that matched historical figures to their photos. Each correct answer opened up a PowerPoint slide that recapped the person’s accomplishments. Trevor reviewed it with his class, as technology teacher Darina Glover moderated the discussion.
Trevor’s project was one of many that Middle School students at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS produced in their technology classes this month. All correlated with Black History Month, which is observed in February.
Formal technology instruction at Corbett Prep starts in PreK4. By the time students enter the Middle School, they are skilled on both Mac and PC platforms, as well as cloud computing on Google Docs and multiple presentation formats, including Prezi, iMovie, Glogster and GarageBand.
Glover, Corbett Prep’s director of instructional technology, challenged students for Black History Month to research people or specific eras in history and use different technological platforms to present their findings.
In addition to learning about their subjects, the projects encouraged students to develop proficiency in computer programs and also gain understanding about online research, including fair use guidelines for their multimedia presentations.
Eighth graders worked with Glover and social studies teacher Christina Thomas to dig into understanding how African-Americans affected American history. Students were assigned a time period to research — slavery, Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement, for example — and had to compile information about that era and a significant person and event from the time. When they completed their research, they showcased their work on a digital Glogster poster, seamlessly incorporating photos and video.
In seventh grade, students participated in a simulation project where they acted as school board members in a small town. They had to research five different African-Americans to see which person would be a worthy namesake for a school. After listing the nominees’ strengths and weaknesses, the students settled on a recommendation. They presented their findings in small teams using PowerPoint or Prezi and voted for their picks on a program called Socrative. All three classes voted for Dr. Ben Carson.
Students developed deep awareness about life’s struggles and accomplishments. Jake Edlund, in sixth grade, said he gained a lot of information about the accomplishments of African-Americans during his research and from the discussions and presentations in class. He said he was impressed how people in several different fields had overcome prejudice to achieve success.
“It doesn’t matter what your skin color is,” Jake said. “You can make an impact in so many things.”
Sixth grader Jack Georgiades said he appreciated learning about these trailblazers in history: “They have all broken the color barrier in everything they did.”