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Oak Hill Problem-Solving Through Technology

May 24, 2018

Fifth-graders at Oak Hill Community School are problem-solving with project-based learning through technology. Angie Kalthoff, technology integrationist, has been working with these students for the last two months.

“It started with foreseeable problems they could fix,” explains Kalthoff. “They then narrowed it down to four topics to choose from. They formed into groups of two to three students.”

Bus safety was a topic of choice. Students were concerned about younger students’ safety while waiting to get on to the bus as well as assisting younger students when on the bus in case of emergencies, primarily getting the exit door open.

The second topic was recess safety.

Students wanted to ensure that they create a safe environment during recess by creating safe games and administering conflict resolution.

Google Classroom was used to create the rubric in which the students set the project expectation and reflections after completion.

During the process, students had to identify the problem, research the issue, figure out how to solve the problem, create a solution, and then how to inform and follow through on the plan.

Each week, Kalthoff would visit the class to assist with technology and encourage communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

“When they asked for help, we wouldn’t give them the answer,” says Kalthoff. “Instead, we helped them think through the question to get to the answer they were looking for.”

One student said that it was very satisfying to figure out the answer in this format.

Some groups created videos and presentations to show how to solve the problems, while one group created a behavior app named 3 Waves. It is essentially a three strikes and you’re out concept.

The students just recently presented their projects to Principal Mike Rivard and media specialist Paul Olsen. The groups are hoping to present to their classes in the near future on some creative new ways to ensure bus and recess safety.