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It's About Innovation: Sy Miller

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The ability to think, learn and teach innovatively is an important component to the vision and mission of the Mariemont City School District. As a 5th grade science and math teacher, Sy Miller incorporates and encourages innovative thinking and 21st century learning practices to all of his students. Throughout any given school year, Sy is constantly pressing the boundaries of technology, utilizing tools such as Blackboard, Google Drive and the infinite number of free apps available to students and teachers. Sy’s students have dissected owl pellets, using their iPads to Identify and compare bones to those found by their classmates. His students have also executed plant experiments using a seven-step scientific experiment supported by research done on wikis, websites and blogs. Sy believes that hands-on activities are important to the learning experience of every student, and for their project on the six ecosystems, his students can accomplish their research using technology, but most students present the information they find in a creative format, such as a diorama, mobile or tri-fold. Sy asks his students to complete these projects in the best way that works them individually, encouraging them to use their strengths.

“The students use the computer as a tool instead of the end result. The curriculum is still 5th-grade science, but they use the technology to enhance the curriculum and their learning experience. The students have access to global information to help them extend their education. Every student has access to devices through the district’s one-to-one technology program, and these computers have the latest programs and applications.

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