Students within the Oak Hills Local School District are able to explore their passions in a variety of clubs that are offered at many of our schools. Students may be involved with builders club, vocal and instrumental music clubs or a variety of other clubs in the district. Oak Hills’ eLearning clubs allow our students who have a passion for technology to think in innovative ways and grow their technology skills in an extracurricular experience.
One of the clubs available to all of our fourth and fifth grade elementary students is eKids. Students in the eKids club work with on a variety of technology tasks. They code, construct 3D worlds with Minecraft, edit their own videos with youtube editor and other web tools, and experiment with Makey Makeys, a kit that allows students to turn everyday objects into touch pads and connect them with the internet. Another focus of eKids is to teach kids about online safety and digital citizenship as well as assisting younger students in the classroom.
Springmyer teacher, Jen Murphy, believes “eKids allows students to explore new and exciting technology with their peers. The way the monthly bins are designed encourages these students to be inquisitive, goal oriented, and team players. In addition to developing these skills during our meetings, our eKids also develop leadership skills by helping younger students in each building by signing up to help in classrooms as needed.”
The eKids themselves have lots of different reasons for participating. Grace McMichael, a fourth grade student at Springmyer joined to help her mother, “Why I signed up for eKIDs is because my mom is legally blind so I try and figure out new things on the computer to help her.”
Students also recognize that eKids is a great opportunity to prepare for their future. Hunter Chermely explains, “eKIDs can introduce us to new careers that you might never think of doing.” Wyatt Ferguson, a C.O. Harrison student finds eKids empowering. “I like that I get to be in charge of what the computer is doing.” Regardless of their reasons, many of our students have benefited from this innovative experience.
Minecraft clubs are offered at many of our schools. Rapid Run Middle School’s Minecraft Club is currently playing and building in a world with the possibility of natural disasters. Mrs. Fox, Rapid Run’s Club Advisor says, “Students are learning how to work together to build and create a community that is structurally safe from the threat of volcanoes and earthquakes. They are busy exploring, finding resources, and using tools to expand and protect their world. To date, we have not experienced any natural disasters, however, scientists have detected mild seismic activity. Looks like the month of March might be devastating! Stay tuned…”
Coding club is also an extracurricular club opportunity that is available to middle school students. Delhi Middle School continues the “Hour of Code” event that began the week of December 7. Delhi’s Coding club advisor, Sandy Malloy, says they have continued this Hour of Code week by continuing it on a weekly basis in their club. The club uses online coding apps such as Tynker, Code.org, and codecombat.com. Students are allowed to explore and are encouraged to continue coding with the same tool for the entire hour. The students share what they learn with each other informally when someone gets excited about a tool.
“eKids lets us make the impossible, possible,” Mitchell Ferguson enthusiastically says. This is just one example of how eLearning experiences within our schools work to guide students toward our district mission that all students attending the Oak Hills Local School District achieve success by graduating with individual skills for career and college readiness and global competence.