Unique national parks tech project featured at school board meeting

Bellefonte Area School District  |  Posted on

During a school board meeting March 29 at Marion-Walker Elementary School, three students along with K-5 technology teacher Jena Jodon presented a unique project they’ve been involved in that highlights the country’s national parks through web-based tech lessons that allowed them to feature the parks on a Google Site, in addition to working with Google Earth and other Google applications. It also required them to map hypothetical trips made from Marion-Walker to the national parks and create a budget using Google Sheets. A Google Slide was also used to document photo slideshows.

The project was inspired by an idea Jodon said she learned about while attending the PETE&C conference in February. PETE&C, or Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, focuses on tech ed tips, programs and professional learning opportunities for state educators.

According to Instructional Technology Specialist Arlin Roth, Bellefonte Area School District is one of 15 school districts in the commonwealth to be recognized as a Google for Education Reference District. To be considered for recognition, he said districts must “demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology, including Google Workspace for Education and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.”

“Recognition as a Google for Education Reference District provides Bellefonte with opportunities to connect with educators from other reference districts, test new Google products and features, and share resources and ideas with other school districts,” Roth said.

The national parks theme also aligned with the theme from this year’s Bellefonte Reads initiative that aims to put free, quality books in the hands of local families and spark a love of reading throughout the community.