|Posted on November 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM|
By Melissa Hero
Every fall, there is a new batch of AVID freshmen at Carlmont High School, in Belmont, CA. AVID is a college program for students in the academic middle, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The students in our program may be the first in their family to go to college, they may come from a socio-economically disadvantaged background, or they just need some extra help and support to get them into a four-year college. When students enroll in this program, they know that they want to go to a four-year college. As a teacher, we guide and support the students so that their goals are possible.
When entering a new school, which is much larger than their middle school, students need to learn how to navigate their new surroundings. Freshmen AVID students conduct a scavenger hunt each fall where they learn where all the important people and places are at our school. We send students to the office to meet their principal and vice principals, to the attendance office, the library, the treasurer, etc. In years past, students just collected the signature of the different staff members.
This year, I have adopted a bring your own device policy to teach students how to use their cell phones as a tool, and not just a toy to text their friends or check their status on Facebook. So I knew that I had to update our scavenger hunt to use their cell phones and to make their hunt more fun and interactive. I researched online and found SCVNGR. I knew that this would be perfect for the students. I could give them clues, include a map of campus, and send them on their way. At each stop, I had a task. Students not only got to meet the important people on campus, but they had to take a picture with the counselor, ask the principal questions, or create an origami shape with the textbook covers with the librarian. This made our hunt much more interactive, and I now have pictures I can use in the end of the year slide show. Students had fun earning points, and meeting all of the staff members that they would interact with over the next four years.
SCVNGR is an invaluable tool that the freshmen AVID teachers at my school will use each year. I also think it will be a great tool to use on our college field trips when we have some extra time on campuses in between campus tours.
Categories: High School