Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Executive
What will the schools of tomorrow look like? I would guess that each student would use smartphones and tablets in class, with textbooks relegated to a study of ancient history. The entire school building would be wi-fi enabled, allowing students to access the Internet for problem solving and research at a moment's whim. Why, I think that students and teachers could interact via Twitter feeds, both inside the classroom and even at home!
Well, guess what? The world of tomorrow land is here today - at the very special Patapsco High School Center for the Arts in Dundalk. Earlier this month I joined School Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance for a tour of Patapsco where we met with the students and faculty for a jaw-dropping view of how technology can be used as an integral part of the learning process.
Principal Ryan Imbriale has created an amazing community of learners in eastern Baltimore County. It is no wonder that Dr. Dance is eager to spread this magic system wide. What happens at Patapsco? Well, here is just a small sample of what took place the day I visited.
It is a school where the principal's daily update isn't done over a traditional public address system, but on the internet via a You Tube video that is also available to parents. It is a school where students are using a variety of social media to enhance learning. It is a school where students are encouraged to bring smart phones and tablets to school so that they may be used as part of the learning process. Classroom Twitter feeds are displayed on white boards encouraging students to react to classroom discussions immediately. In Spanish class, the Spanish tweets were being posted fast and furiously. In science labs, students were using their phones to connect to links to QR codes posted around the room leading to problems that must be solved. Students worked in groups, actively engaging and supporting one another to solve these complex problems. Teachers worked hand-in-hand with students as guides in the learning process.
As my staff would tell you, I haven't been able to stop talking about the teachers and students at Patapsco. I am so excited about what is taking place there and even more excited that Dr. Dance firmly believes that this type of instruction can become the model for Baltimore County. I look forward to making that journey together.
Director, Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences
There’s a new place to get smart in Baltimore County. Actually, it’s a place to get “smARTS,” a new Baltimore County arts television show premiering March 7 at 7:00-7:30 p.m. on BCTV, cable channel 25 in Baltimore County.
We call the program smARTS because we believe this is the smart place to find out about Baltimore County’s arts scene. The show covers music, dance, theatre, and visual arts, from Catonsville to Dundalk to Towson and Owings Mills.
We also feel the arts really do make you smarter; smarter about the world, about ideas and emotions, and smarter about how creative expression makes our lives more meaningful and just plain fun.
Carolyn Black-Sotir, chair of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences, hosts the program, The premiere show includes an interview with Marin Alsop about the new Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, whose new home is the Carver Center for Arts & Technology in Towson; a preview of the 25th Baltimore Jewish Film Festival at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills; and a discussion about For All the World to See, an exhibit at UMBC focusing on the impact of visual images and the civil rights movement. A “Get smARTER” segment looks at how County composer Valencio Jackson developed the show’s original theme music.
smARTS premieres March 7 and airs Thursdays and Fridays, 7:00-7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 11:30-noon on BCTV, cable channel 25 in Baltimore County. Segments are available 24/7 on the Baltimore County government web site www.baltimorecountymd.gov
SmARTS is produced by the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Schools and BCPS-TV.
by Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive
It’s the first week of summer vacation for students and teachers all across Baltimore County. Listen carefully and you can almost hear the collective sigh. For the first time in months, our teachers and administrators can wake up without having to gulp that cup of coffee and get to school for last minute preparations before the students arrive. On behalf of everyone in Baltimore County, particularly those of us who still have children in school—thank you for another great year!
It is so easy to forget that administrators and teachers arrive at school long before many of us have had our Cheerios. The day becomes a blur with one lesson leading to another, hall and cafeteria duties, team meetings, and planning for the next day along the way. And don’t forget the after-school tutoring sessions. After dinner when most of us hope to catch our breath and settle in to read a book or watch our favorite television show, the teachers are back at it—fine tuning lesson plans and grading papers. There is no down time. They fall into bed and start again bright and early the next morning.
So if anyone has earned some time off this summer it is the administrators, teachers, and staff members in our schools. I hope that they take satisfaction from a job well done, while finding some time to relax on a beach, tube along the Gunpowder, or take a walk along a country path. When you see a teacher, administrator, or other school staff member this summer, please thank them for all that they do. As for my fellow parents, hang in there. It will be September before you know it.