Life-skills students from different South Hills schools connect through Internet
They shared their likes, laughed at each other's jokes and danced along to popular songs with their newly found friends across the South Hills — all over the Internet.
A live-stream video connected life-skills students, or students with disabilities, from Baldwin, Bethel Park and Elizabeth Forward who shared stories, jokes and “Roses are Red” poems they had written on Valentine's Day — the first of what teachers said they hope evolves into many online interactions between the students in upcoming months.
“It was super neat,” said Danny Hall, 18, a Baldwin High School senior, who read a poem for his peers at nearby schools. “I liked everything about it.”
The life-skills program at Baldwin High School is focused on teaching the students daily activities to prepare them for real-world living, teacher Josh Stahl said. That often means going out into the community, visiting the library, stopping by the post office or taking a trip to the grocery store.
Incorporating all parts of society into the classroom, including innovative technology — such as video conferencing — is important.
“We look to include the advances that are going on in society,” Stahl said.
“We want them to have a chance to practice those skills.”
The video conferencing and “51 Love” program was coordinated through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and three schools. Life-skills teachers from numerous schools across the region — such as Baldwin, Elizabeth Forward, Bethel Park, South Allegheny, Chartiers Valley and Keystone Oaks — often work together on programs, including Olympics-style events, Stahl said.
The live video conferencing also gave the students an opportunity to practice their public-speaking skills.
“We want to break that anxiety or nervousness about doing something like this,” Stahl said.
The “Roses are red” poems and jokes about dating brought an uproar of laughter in the classroom.
“Roses are red, violets are blue. I need some money, can I get it from you?” Hall said to the delight of his classmates.
Baldwin senior Zach Dingfelder, 18, said he was nervous about sharing his likes — and love for hockey — with his peers over the Internet.
It was his teacher, he said, who helped him get over the fears.
“You guys are doing a fantastic job,” Stahl encouraged the students and reminded them it took courage to speak in public.
Parents were able to get on their computers at home and watch along, and a link to the video was sent out later in case they missed it.
The students said they enjoyed the experience.
“I liked the whole part,” Dingfelder said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Library Corner: E-resources can give students a head start
- Little library adds to learning experience at Pleasant Hills Arboretum
- Brentwood Library receives grant to replace front doors
- Officials to discuss work on Pleasant Hills’ Old Clairton Road
- Longtime Baldwin-Whitehall librarian closes the book on career
- West Jefferson Hills School Board set to approve final budget