Elementary school to university: A learning experience for all

June 4, 2019


This spring, two classrooms became one for a positive learning experience for all. Ms. Kristen Green’s third grade Enrichment class at Creekside Elementary and Dr. Karen Rabren’s RSED 3000, Diversity and Exceptionality of Learners class, had class together through a live Zoom Conference meeting.

Dr. Rabren’s students were learning about gifted education, including different methods for differentiating instruction such as tiered lessons, problem-based learning, project-based learning, and the importance of teaching leadership skills. They learned from the third graders how attending enrichment classes fit into their daily schedules. The future teachers also were curious how they could help support gifted students in their classrooms. They received quite a bit of advice from these talented young students.

Participants in Zoom Conference

Elementary Students participating in Zoom Conference

The third graders learned about technology as they used Zoom conferencing. They also gained leadership skills as they spoke to the group of young adults. For example, they did not hesitate to share with the class of future teachers what it takes to keep them engaged and motivated to learn. They were also very curious about what it is like to be a college student.

These budding young scholars were relieved to learn that taking 12 credit hours really didn’t mean that you would be in class for 12-hours each day.

The impact of this Zoom conference is probably best summed up in comments made by two of the RSED 3000 students as they reflected on the experience.

“It was so special getting to see you guys in the classroom because it gave us all a little glimpse into the future of what our lives as teachers will look like in a few short years,” said Katelyn Hansen.

Hannah Helton also found it memorable.

“One thing that I will never forget from this experience is that one of the students was asked, ‘What makes a good teacher?’ He said, ‘A good teacher is extra-ordinary!’ This made my eyes water because I think I truly saw that to this one student his teacher is his whole world.”