At Louisburg High School, Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher Erin Hull is using technology to bridge the gap between home and school. She’s not only creating a digital classroom, she’s sticking it to winter weather and school closures.
Hull is a beginning teacher, now in her second year at Louisburg High School, and is finding ways to reach students outside the classroom through the recently-implemented learning management system, Canvas. The software, used statewide, is integrated with the existing student information system, PowerSchool, to extend the reach of the classroom. It allows students to share in online discussions, take quizzes, and utilize other resources usually reserved exclusively for classroom time.
AP courses are demanding, for both students and teachers, says Hull, and missing out on valuable instructional time can set students back too much, especially when AP course exams — scheduled for May 12th — are just around the corner. So Hull took advantage of Canvas during the school closures earlier this year, creating quizzes and keepings students engaged in their reading assignments all while working from home — often in her pajamas, she admits.
“For my AP classes especially, there is a lot of content that needs to be covered,” says Hull, noting this is her first time teaching AP World History to her ninth grade students. “I want to make sure I’m giving [my students] everything they need, even when we’re not in session.”
For Hull, it’s about more than just memorizing facts, locations, and understanding the chronology of events — it’s about opening her students’ eyes to different cultures, far-off places, and capturing the beauty of diversity.
“I want them to be able to open their eyes to different groups of people, going beyond the borders of Louisburg,” she says. “It increases their tolerance for others, and that’s something I think is important.”
Thanks to new technology, innovative teaching, and a passion for learning, it’s clear that not all history classes have to live in the dark ages.