With recent steps taken to begin incorporating solar and wind power into school and municipal departments, the Town of Coventry has been swiftly moving into a more modern direction- and Coventry High School Principal Mike Hobin isn't being left out.
He recently created a Twitter account for the school, which can be followed at @CoventryOakers, that will serve as a way to share school happenings, accomplishments and updates on a daily basis.
"So many great things are done at Coventry High School each day," said Hobin. "I really want to use this to showcase the things that go on here."
Hobin was encouraged to create the account after attending a RIASP technology conference at New England Tech on July 31 and August 1, where he was introduced to a plethora of ways that educators can implement the Internet and technology into their teaching. Through presentations by keynote speakers and school administrators from across Rhode Island, Hobin was shown how to access networking, online portfolio and social media sites that could be used to enrich the learning environment at CHS.
"The conference really challenged my thinking about how to let kids use technology in the classroom," he said. "The perception of how they use it and the reality are very different."
He was also inspired by the results of a student survey showing that 77.4% of students in the school admitted to text messaging during school hours.
"I was really taken aback by that number," he said. "I know it goes on, but that number was a bit of a shock."
Hobin explained that there are already several tech-savvy teachers in the building who have taken advantage of the vast number of cell phones in the school. Using educational polls in the classroom, teachers can allow students to answer questions with their phones in an attempt to integrate traditional teaching with more modern methods that students have grown up mastering.
"We as teachers and administrators can learn a lot from the kids," he said. "They are content specialists when it comes to technology."
In regards to the CoventryOakers Twitter account, Hobin hopes to reach both students and parents alike by tweeting updates about sporting and theater events, academic achievements, and day-to-day information such as weather delays and cancellations, class schedules, registration deadlines and more.
Other administrators will have access to the account as well and an assistant principal will take the helm of the school's public relations in the future. The school is also currently being outfitted with updated computer labs and networks, in hopes of eventually connecting the entire school to a wireless network.
"We have been progressing, but we weren't progressing fast enough," said Hobin. " This is a step closer to where we want to be."
Coventry High School's Twitter account can be found at twitter.com/CoventryOakers. Roughly a week after its launch, the account had 103 followers as of Thursday afternoon.