landscape photograph of the Allegheny River from the boat docks at Freeport Riverside Park in Freeport, Pennsylvania

In 2016, a group of Freeport Middle School students was lucky enough to participate in a project led by Carnegie Mellon University to become more fluent with data and technology. Freeport was one of eight Pittsburgh-area school districts to participate.

Mrs. Beth Zboran, an educator in the Freeport Area School District, spent a few weeks this summer as part of the CMU data fluency team. One of the goals of this group is to find ways to use technology to connect people to each other and to their community.

“I suspected that the students at the middle school didn’t realize the rich history that is right here in our little town. I devised a lesson that incorporated history and the use of technology to help foster a connection between the students and the town that bears the name of our school district.” 

The project involved students working with a partner to research one of thirteen locations or famous people from the area. They wrote narratives about their point of interest and, on the morning of November 7th, toured the locations. At each stop along the tour, students read and recorded their narrative and took a picture of their site.  The technology lesson follows with the manipulation of the audio and picture files and creating an interactive map of the town. The map is available online for anyone to explore.

Mrs. Zboran would like to thank the Freeport Renaissance Association for donating money to help pay for transportation and materials needed to complete the tour and the CMU fluency team for helping with the transportation costs and lending the microphones and cameras used. 

View and listen to the history tour here!