George Lucas Educational Foundation

Technology Integrated Across All Subjects Engages High School Students

Using technology, students at Harrison Central High School in Mississippi monitor their own musical and athletic activities and analyze the data and feedback to improve their performance. Watch an in-depth video on this school.
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Technology Integrated Across All Subjects Engages High School Students (Transcript)

Narrator: Over the past several years, there's been a quiet revolution going on that has transformed Harrison High School's curriculum. In almost every classroom, technology tools are facilitating a new way of learning.

Are we collecting?

Narrator: Probes and laptops are used in real world scientific explorations. History lessons are as exciting as game shows.

A, Colorado, B.

Narrator: They even use technology to improve their nationally ranked cheerleading squad.

Student: Like without this stuff, we'd have no idea like how much things have changed in, you know, where we started and where we're at now. It lets people know that they've either been working hard enough or need to work a little bit harder.

Narrator: Data from the cheerleader workouts is given to students in an algebra two class for analysis.

Charlotte: These students are just learning how to graph equations, and instead of just plain graphing numbers, we're graphing real data, so they can have something meaningful for their work.

Student: Right now, I'm tracing myself so I can determine by velocity of the ball.

Narrator: In this physics class, students use video cameras, photo gates and other high tech gadgets to explore the science behind their personal passions.

Teacher: If you consider a minute ago, you went from up there to the floor in a thirtieth of a second. So your acceleration and your average velocity was a lot faster.

Narrator: For more information on what works in public education, go to

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Video Credits

Produced, Written, and Directed by

  • Ken Ellis

Associate Producers:

  • Diane Curtis
  • Leigh Iacobucci


  • Karen Sutherland

Camera Crew:

  • Bob Boccaccio
  • Hans van den Bold

Production Assistant:

  • Miwa Yokoyama


  • Susan Blake

Comments (13) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Allison's picture

I so agree with Jeff in South Tampa! Whiteboards really keep the kids engaged and motivated. At my daughter's elementary school here in Virginia, I watched a bored, listless 2nd grade class come to life the minute our librarian turned on the whiteboard!

Allison's picture

P.S. Our PTA went with a Smartboard and while it's okay, it's more geared toward business. Wish we had gone with Promethean instead (designed specifically for education). Time for another fundraiser... (-:

Mellisa Robinson's picture

Using technology effectively is a plus for any classroom as students are more intriqued to learn in a technological environment. Watching this video causes me to be jealous and want to do more for my students in the field of technology.

Rochele Hirsch's picture

We could solve a LOT of current problems by integrating technology with the "one room school house" approach. Consider:
- 14 kids (multi-age) in a neighborhood classroom (walk to school)with
- 2 "Learning Process Facilitators" (not "teachers") whose job includes connection with students -- and ensuring they are learning, that the equipment is working well for them, that they are paid attention to in a learning environment.
- Distance Education provided, multi-media, interactive teaching/learning through the computer with EXCELLENT teachers/lecturers and an EXCELLENT curriculum: The student moves as rapidly as they can or want to through the required basics -- and then on to advanced work as they choose -- with constant feedback, reinforcement and "extra" opportunities.
- Phone-center "tutors" (all over the country) who are available to answer questions and engage the thinking process either through the phone or through chat as the student is moving through the education module.
- Older students provide tutoring to younger students as part of their own learning and reinforcement
- Parents are more involved -- because they are close by to the neighborhood "distance education classroom" and would be conspicuously absent if not involved.
- Further socialization can be accomplished through arts / music / sports -- with modules on one-two days / week -- with larger groups
- The school day runs longer (say 8 to 6:00) -- to support family needs, study time, exercise, extra optional studies and socialization.
- The smaller group concept supports more individual attention -- less opportunity for problems with drugs / gangs / bullying, etc.

It is like "home-schooling -- grown up" Maybe Charter Schools could start this ... or establish pilot programs in existing school infrastructure.

And existing teachers could move into the roles of:
- EXCELLENT teachers - recording and providing the distance education modules in EXCELLENT Curricula
- Learning Process Facilitators -- which satisfies the needs of many teachers to be involved in the learning experience with students (but they don't have to be subject matter experts)
- Call Center Tutors -- where they could even work from home to support the learning of assigned students in assigned courses -- in time zones across the country.

We would not need to spend so much on bus transportation -- or traditional classrooms. The education would be greatly improved. We could maintain the excitement about learning -- and therefore the engagement of our students. Snow Days would be of little consequence.

Everything could get better!

Katie Cappelloni's picture
Katie Cappelloni
Special Education Learning Support from Scranton, Pa

I love how they are using technology in real-life environments. This really teaches students how technology can work. They are using real data in their Math classes instead of random numbers. It's more interesting for students to learn using real life information. This video is showing how we can get students more motivated to learn. I think it's great that they can use certain technologies for their own personal interest and see the scientific aspects behind them. Technology is a great tool to have in our schools, it lets both teachers and students explore beyond the classroom.

Eric Vaughn Sachs's picture

In this video instructors were clearly comfortable with how to apply the technology, but it may be a little intimidating if instructors had to keep up with the students.

Sue Ware's picture

WOW-technology everywhere! To me, this is a little intimidating! How can I keep up with my students? They seem to grasp it immediately - but this is what they are growing up with and what they will use in their future occupations. In the video, I liked the way the technology was incorporated seamlessly - it seemed fun and useful and yet so educational...Can't wait to try some of this technology!

Nancy Bires's picture

This video opened my eyes to the extensive ways technology can be used in and outside of the classroom. Science is my field and the video illustrated how almost everything can be analyzed to collect data using the computer. My students do stream quality monitoring and use test kits for the chemical tests. Probes would be a much more accurate method. It would be interesting to compare the results from the test kits with the readings from the probes. Our high school offered a summer academy course that used computers to analyze various sports. I know the students were very excited about the course. Students are so "plugged in" to technology it is difficult to keep up with them. I think we as teachers need to utilize technology in the classroom to motivate our students to learn and survive in the technological society of today.
P.S. It is important to get "unplugged" and spend time outside every now and then so we don't get disconnected from the natural world!

Nancy Bires's picture

My favorite line from the video was "the technology enables students to explore the science behind their personal passion."

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