The New England Association of Wood Shop Teachers met on May 11 at the combined wood shops of Pinkerton Academy. Nineteen NEAWT members got a quick peek at a free educational program called EdPuzzle and the terrific usefulness it has already had in Dudley Murcheonson's program. Similar to Google classroom but much easier to use and upload to a grading system. EdPuzzle has allowed Dudley and his students much more freedom in class time but also far greater accountability in learning. Steve Sachmann has added a hand tool component to his woodworking classes, with an emphasis on hand carving.
Both instructors led a spirited discussion of methods to increase individual responsibility and develop leadership skills. Dudley has found that by assigning a lead status to an individual student and authorizing them to act as a project foreman, all students develop a greater sense of autonomy and responsibility. The "foreman" answers questions, corrects actions, enforces the project schedule and confirms readiness and completion. Dudley remarked that while he remains completely in charge of safety and initial instruction, this system has completely revised his Construction class methodologies resulting in far greater project precision and student satisfaction. Each new project gets a new "foreman"; a goal for students to strive for. And the background learning and self-assessment, done on Chromebooks, can be easily uploaded to Dudley's own records for review and evaluation.
NEAWT officers Phil Carle and Steve Kaplan also awarded Program of the Year" recognition to the boat building and fine woodworking program at Marshfield High in Marshfield MA.
"Instructor of the Year" was awarded to our own Dave Shinlinnger of Mascoma High in Enfield NH. Way to go, Dave!
Now let's see what all these super accomplished high schoolers do at the Guild of NH Woodworkers Woodturning Competition on May 17th at Sanborn Mills Farm in Loudon, NH.