My Big Campus prepares students for 21st Century - Republic-Times | News

My Big Campus prepares students for 21st Century

By on November 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a two-part series looking into how Gibault is going high tech.)

Gibault Catholic High School principal Russ Hart is empowered to see how a “textbookless” environment will work at his school.

“I can’t do what (Gibault history teacher) Matt Schweizer is doing,” he said.

What Schweizer is doing is using My Big Campus in his daily teaching routine.

“We love My Big Campus,” Hart said. “But as I told my teachers, I can’t predict if we will be using it in five years because there may be something bigger and better. And my teachers are going to have to get used to changing. Nothing is going to be around for 30 years or more.”

That’s especially true with today’s rapid changing technology. What might be in today, might be out-of-date by tomorrow.

Schweizer believes by going “textbookless” and using My Big Campus allows his western civilization students some of the latest information compiled on a subject.

“This guides a student throughout the semester, so there are no surprises or anything like that,” he said.

He also believes My Big Campus is helping Gibault students get better prepared for college and the workforce.

“High school aged kids today are very focused,” he said. “They demand and crave relevance. I think by deliberately not doing this makes the school experience more alien and more irrelevant in their everyday-to-day lives than using tools they are already using 24-7.”

In short, My Big Campus is allowing teachers to use some of the latest resource materials.

The idea is not too far fetched.

In 1981, there was a computer exhibit in Disney World showing how shopping in the future would be done online via the Internet.

“Now, who doesn’t shop on-line?” Hart rhetorically asked.

In 1986, Belleville Area College (now Southwestern Illinois College), offered a computer presentation to students at Triad High School.
During the presentation, the BAC teacher told the basic programing computer classes that newspapers would be available only online in the future.

That is now getting close to a reality at many publications.

Take Newsweek, for instance.  Newsweek is planning to print its last publication next summer. After that, subscribers will only be able to get this periodical online.

My Big Campus works very much like Facebook, a popular social networking site on the Internet.Like Facebook, My Big Campus users can join study groups on a voluntary basis.

Students in Schweizer’s class can also find a syllabus and read class announcements he personally posts.

Schweizer said he also places article on his website, where students can earn extra credit by simply placing comments on an article.

“That is something the kids can do on their own and I can make my own comments as well,” he said.

Schweizer can also post his lecture notes, where his students will always be able to access for reference whether they are in our outside of his classroom.

My Big Campus also supports a forum where students are allowed to post any questions they might have about an assignment.

“Either I can answer these questions, or other people can,” he said.
Schweizer said this can sometimes create a lively conversation between students.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

To read the first installment on the two part series, click here.

Mark Hodapp

Sports Editor