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|Grant spurs school’s latest technology training|
|Written by Samantha Silberman|
|Friday, 01 October 2010 22:48|
Students in the Tombstone Unified School District will have the opportunity to work with higher-level technology thanks to a one-year $430,000 grant.
The grant is part of the Enhancing Education Through Technology State Program (EETT).
"As part of the grant, we must use 25 percent of the money for professional development," said Joanne Nyquist, a Title I and computer lab instructor at Walter J. Meyer Elementary School.
In order to accomplish this, the teachers themselves have to become more technologically advanced.
More than half of the teachers at the school are participating in a 40-hour class that teaches them how to develop higher level thinking skills.
"We were one of 11 districts to receive this grant," said Karl Uterhardt, Tombstone Unified School District superintendent.
Thanks to the grant, when Nyquist teaches she is able to show what she has on her personal computer on a large screen so that the class can visualize it.
She also has the capability to use a special pointer that can write and erase markings that are put on the screen, which provides an additional tool for students who learn visually and creates collaboration between teachers and students.
The main reason for educating the students with this new technology is to encourage them to be strong, collaborative learners so the teachers can expose them to new environments.
The technology will make it easier for the students to adjust from learning new skills in a classroom to learning new skills outside of the classroom.
For example, learning could potentially occur on the banks of the San Pedro River.
The teachers want the students to be able to take more field trips and with the help of this new technology, students are going to be able to take "virtual field trips."
Teachers are not only getting pleasure out of seeing their students engaging in higher level learning, but they are getting other benefits as well.
For example, teachers are now able to grade documents and drop them into certain mailboxes on the Internet.
This avoids having to manually bring graded documents to offices throughout the school.
This technology is hopefully going to stimulate the students to want to learn, and as a byproduct, improve their grades.
In previous years, students' math and science grades were not meeting passing standards.
Soon, teachers will potentially see an increase in students' grades due to the collaborative and higher level technology.