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SP students turn hard copy into visual innovation

SOUTH POINT — It’s getting a look at the classroom of the future when South Point High School students delved into a cutting edge software.

That’s what the students in the school’s Teachers’ Career Academy did by putting the school’s course catalogue online and making it interactive.

The guiding force behind the innovation was history teacher Kent Stewart who was introduced to the Prezi software by a colleague.

“With Prezi the kids can create any kind of presentation,” Stewart said.

And they can do it in short order for this project took about a week.

“Typing and pathing (or setting up software directions) were the largest parts,” Stewart said.

As far as the actual work, the catalogue was divided up by subject and students, Melodey Green, Jake Cogan, Angelica Stewart and Amber Lynd, showed off what they had accomplished in a special demonstration on Monday. There on a Smart Board the students offered a sneak peak at the finished project as interspersed among text from the catalogue were graphics, photographs, even videos.

“Each put their own take on it,” Stewart said.

Angelica Stewart put within the Fine Arts section a minute and a half video of the South Point High Marching Band.

“This was her idea,” her teacher said. “The kids put all their work into this. It is their ideas.”

Lynd’s goal is to become a math teacher and she can see how the Prezi technology could enhance the classroom experience.

“It helps better to integrate things so you can use more technology,” Lynd said. “You could put in movies of different teachers explaining what you are in the classroom.”

That could allow students to hear the same material in a variety of ways to offer the chance for better retention.

“It is like Power Point. I could teach a lesson with it,” Sarah Wheeler said. “But it is better than Power Point. It is more fun. You can put pictures in and it bounces back and forth and it keeps them more interested and aware.”

In a few weeks the interactive course catalogue should be online on the South Point High’s Web site, which can offer another advantage.

“Parents can now go online and look at the course offerings,” Stewart said.

“This is Web-based, flash-based and free.”