Since the school district is closed for Fall Break this week, teachers had the choice to celebrate Veteran’s Day in advance of the holiday or after classes resume on Monday, November 14th. While Indian Hill School students will recognize Veterans at a special assembly on November 15th, other students, like those in Mrs. Monether’s 1st grade class got a jump on expressing their thanks to members of the military last week.
With the help of Skype, the students in Mrs. Monether’s class connected with members of the Air Force to learn about their jobs and the responsibilities they have as part of our military. The students got to meet their teacher’s brother, Captain Richard L. Browell, and his Squadron, stationed in California. The squadron explained their responsibilities for protecting and overseeing recruiting areas from Southern California to Mexico and the entire state of Arizona.
The class sang two thank you songs for the members of the squadron, asked questions about the Air Force and personally thanked the squadron members for their service in the military. As a way of responding to their learning experience, the class collected small personal hygiene items for our troops to be sent overseas and wrote thank you letters to active and veteran troops.
Using Skype in this way is another example of how Holmdel’s classrooms are being transformed in the 21st century. As Mrs. Monether did here, teachers use Skype to find partners for projects that extend learning beyond the school and even across time zones. “Using technology in this way, personalizes learning for our students and provides new opportunities for students to communicate for engaging, real-world purposes such as developing respect for and expressing gratitude to members who serve and have served in the military,” explained Superintendent Dr. Robert McGarry. “Having this experience, these students are more likely to have a greater appreciation for the sacrifice of those who served in the military, especially those in their own families and in our community,” he added.