SAD 75 promotes educational experiences with online 'Showcase’

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TOPSHAM – Call it YouTube meets School Administrative District 75.

The learning achievements of the district’s elementary, middle and high school students are available for viewing on the Internet through SAD 75’s Learning Showcase.

The visual and audio showcase can be accessed through, a cooperative effort between SAD 75’s Gifted and Talented program and Career and College Aspirations resource.

“It’s a way to provide evidence of learning,” said Darren Akerman, SAD 75 Gifted and Talented coordinator, who works with educational technician Linda Koch on the endeavor. “So often, students come home and they’re asked, ‘what did you do in school today?’ Here’s a chance to actually demonstrate (that learning).”

On the elementary school page, for example, are videos featuring second-grade contradance at Woodside Elementary School, an introduction by Woodside students to the Gizmo 101 math and science program, book reviews by students, and a concert dress rehearsal and feature on digital story making at Bowdoinham Community School.

The middle school page includes videos on nutrition and ukulele, and the high school area has a feature on window photography by the Advanced Placement studio art class.

Akerman said his goal is to have representation in the showcase from all the district’s schools.

While he and Koch have tended to be the ones filming the videos, that responsibility, along with editing and producing the clips, could soon also be embraced by the district’s students, SAD 75 Assistant Superintendent Sally Loughlin.

“With all the laptops and the technology available in our schools, the idea of capturing student learning while it’s happening, seeing what happens in those classrooms as kids are doing things together, is something that Darren’s really challenged himself to bring together,” Loughlin said. “… What we hope is a natural progression this spring is that students, parents and teachers get excited about sharing short samples of what students are doing for learning these days.”

She noted that having community members understand what goes on in its schools can be a moving target, but that the Learning Showcase is a means of exposing the curriculum and educational processes of 21st century classrooms.

“Examples are everything,” Loughlin added. “… You don’t have to read reports and print them to make sense of what’s going on in school; you see what kids are doing and how they’re doing it.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or [email protected].

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.