Cleveland, TN school reaches kids through technology

Welcome to the new Learning Leader series!

Today’s Learning Leader post is looking at Cleveland, TN’s Cleveland High School. Last fall, Cleveland High School had Cyber Anatomy software installed on a touch table for their Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering classes. The implementation of the new technology was in part thanks to Erin Hattabaugh, the Career and Technical Education Department Head and a teacher at Cleveland High School for 13 years. Hattabaugh recognized the importance of immersive learning and wanted to integrate it into the classroom.

Erin Hattabaugh“Everything needs to be hands-on. We have very little lecture and usually move quickly into the hands-on portion,” Hattabaugh said. “Being able to pull up the parts of anatomy and label them takes learning to another level.”

Cleveland High School claims around 1,500 students in grades 9 through 12. The school aims to obtain highly qualified teachers who provide challenging, relevant, data-driven instruction for their classrooms. The use of technology in the classroom helped Hattabaugh achieve the institute’s goals, as well as develop an effective method for engaging students in learning.

“I think, for the most part, you have to meet students where they are and technology is where they are. That’s their life; phones and tech. If you don’t meet them, you’re not going to reach them,” Hattabaugh said.

A 2013 national survey conducted by PBS discovered that, 90 percent of teachers surveyed had access to at least one PC or laptop for their classrooms, and 59 percent had access to an interactive white board. As the survey shows, most educators use some form of technology, whether computers or white boards, but leaders like Hattabaugh take teaching one step further by discovering resources that will engage and teach students the most. Using Cyber Anatomy on her touch table was Hattabaugh’s solution to this increasingly digital world.

The PBS survey also found, “65 percent of teachers reported that technology allows them to demonstrate something they cannot show in any other way.” Hattabaugh could agree with this point as Cyber Anatomy made teaching anatomy a lot easier.

“One thing that Cyber Anatomy has really helped with is body planes; you can manipulate them with the software,” Hattabaugh said. “I’ve struggled with teaching body planes for years but with the technology students can see them first hand.”