Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Students, teachers and administrators recently cut the ribbon on a new classroom featuring collaboration space at Osbourn Park High School. The new collaboration space was funded by a $45,000 grant from SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Schools.
Principal Neil Beech toured a similar space at George Mason University and decided to apply for a grant through SPARK.
“Mr. Beech was looking for a space for our students to collaborate in a way that would enhance their learning and teach them skills that would carry over into college or the workplace,” said Carrie Gahagan, instructional technology coach.
“The general idea is that students learn best when they are able to collaborate,” Beech said. “The space enables fluid student and teacher collaboration with the use of technology. Each student who uses the room will use a laptop to research/write/problem solve. In addition, the screen from each laptop can be projected onto the team monitor or the classroom Smartboard. We hope that this level of connectedness between devices and student ideas will help the learning process beyond that of a traditional computer lab.”
According to Gahagan, each pod cost about $9,500 and includes a table, chairs, display monitor, six laptops and Solstice Pod. The collaboration space includes five pods and a SMART display.
“We have received rave reviews from all stakeholders and are in the process of adding a sixth pod to the collaboration space, two pods in our library, and are considering converting a standing computer lab into a collaboration space,” Gahagan said.
The ribbon cutting included special guests Lillie Jessie, vice chair of the School Board, and Mickey Mulgrew, associate superintendent for high schools. Senior Class President Avani Hariprashad cut the ribbon.