Curriculum Specific Technology Integration Projects
In the spring of 2012, the Instructional Technology Advisory Committee developed a grant application process for awarding Curriculum Specific Funds directly to teachers. Through this process, 55 proposals were submitted representing 126 teachers throughout Huron Valley Schools. Proposals were reviewed by two separate committees and ultimately 18 projects were awarded. Below are the results of the first year of implementation of the Technology Integration Projects.
Country Oaks Elementary
Jennifer Ryskamp, 2nd Grade
Project Summary: My second-grade class will undoubtedly benefit from a set of NOOK Tablets and one iPad 2 to share. In the palm of their hands, these technologies will address a broad array of GLCEs through project-based learning. Students will participate in academic projects which meet educational goals and will be shared with audiences outside our classroom walls. The NOOK Tablets' web browsing capabilities will enable students to do research for authentic purposes, and the shared iPad 2 will provide them with the means to take photos, record videos, and access the ever-expanding wealth of apps available for learning.
White Lake Middle School
Science Department: Natalie Moore, Mandy Printz, joy Camp, Tom Sullivan, Caryl Barber & Cheryl Peters
Project Summary: By utilizing the SMART Response XE remotes, teachers will engage students through the use of interactive technology in the classroom. The SMART Response XE enables students to respond to questions using open ended answers, giving teachers the ability to cover more advanced content, as well as encouraging writing by meeting the districts WOW (Wisdom of Writing) goals. According to an article published in the Digital Union, Robert McMillen from the University of Ohio (February, 2010), states "By basing in-class teaching choices on the formative assessment provided by clickers, you can make more efficient use of class time and be more responsive to student needs."
Project Update: Based on common assessment results available in PEARSON, scores have increased on 7th grade and 8th grade common assessments from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2012 -2013 school year. For example, on the Physical and Chemical/Changes and Properties common assessment, 70.89% of 7th grade students scored at or above standard in the 2011-2012 school year, but 89.58 % scored at or above the standard in the 2012-2013 school year which is a 19% gain in average score. Additionally, on the 7th grade Cells common assessment test during the 2011-2012 school year 82% of students scored at or above standard score, but a year later 90% scored at or above standard score.
Similar results are also identified in the 8th grade. During the 2011-2012 school year, 8th graders in the mainstream science class scored 61% at or above standard on the Scientific Inquiry common assessment test. In the 2012-2013 school year, 81% of students scored at or above standard. An increase of 20%! Due to the change of the Explore administration date, the science department has been unable to compare Explore result data from the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 school years to see if there has been a significant increase. However; the student response to the use of the SMART response XE Remote has been a positive. Students report they enjoy using the SMART response XE remotes in science class and prefer using these tools over traditional pen/pencil assignments. Multiple teachers have had their classes uploaded into SMART software in order to begin using the remotes based on the student feedback.
Harbor High School
Nate Clay & Anne Zambito
Project Summary: Students will use iPads to research and respond to a commonly voiced question: "Why do I need to know this?" This project-based chemistry learning experience will culminate with students creating a digital artifact which demonstrates not only their comprehension of key science concepts but also master of communication using technology. Through the active and procedural use of big ideas and concepts in a meaningful and engaging context, this project will draw in students who typically are unmotivated and apathetic. Students will understand and be able to explain how the science concepts they have mastered will help them in the future.
Oxbow Community School
Jodi Gerken, 2nd Grade
Project Summary: Huron Valley Schools...inspiring and building futures, one student at a time. Our mission speaks volumes to our commitment of looking forward. Equally important is reflection on current practice: are our expectations aligned for the future? In the 21st century, simply mastering content isn't enough; what matters is the application of knowledge through communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
Technology is one way to bridge today with tomorrow. Apple iPads are changing classrooms all over the country; they're providing students experiences with skill sets necessary for their future. These students will be ready for competition in a global economy. Will ours?
Project Update: As a teacher, I feel that it is my job to facilitate each child's learning so that a lifelong learner can be born. I feel that the students are the ones that hold the key to their own success and that by getting the technology into their hands we can help ensure that success. The iPads have helped to literally put the technology at the students' fingertips. Since the introduction of the grant-awarded iPads into our classroom, students are more eager than ever to let the technology enhance their learning experiences.
Since we were awarded nine iPads, the children work either work independently or in teams of two/three when using them. The children use the iPads daily for spelling, reading, and math but the iPads have come in handy in other content areas on several other occasions.
Practicing their word work on the iPads has really increased time on task as well as interest in spelling in general. We also use the iPads to run the Raz Kids program (paid for from teacher funds) via the Internet- we do this during independent reading workshop time. The children can log into their own individualized Raz Kids accounts from both home and school; once there they have the ability to go to online books at their reading level and then take comprehension tests.
The iPads also have several free and paid apps that are useful in the classroom. Because the grant also awarded us money for apps, we have been lucky to be able to put several paid apps onto our iPads. We've downloaded encyclopedia and world maps onto them to enhance the science and social studies curriculum. We've also used the paid apps to purchase an online leveled library of readers so that I can run small, guided reading groups with the digital stories. There is also cursive and printing handwriting practice for those students who need it. We also utilize the Everyday Math game apps during math workshop time. Students have even used the apps to help solidify their sight word recall, their reading skills (through Reader Rabbit) and even to reinforce math concepts such as telling time and counting money.
Most recently, students used Google Earth on the iPads to find their addresses when learning about maps. They also explored the world/globe on an atlas app that we have. Because of this, students were able to see the landforms and where they were located on the Earth before we learned about them as part of our science unit. We also incorporated the iPads into our current reading/writing unit on research. Students first learned how to take notes from books, photos, and from live observation. The iPads afforded us the opportunity to watch live footage of our research topics and then to take notes from those. Our topics include tornadoes, teeth, volcanoes, bees, and the moon. It was amazing to see the kids watching how a cavity is filled, listening and watching a volcano erupt, watching the tape of the landing on the moon, and also watching live footage from inside a beehive. The students are enthusiastic about anything on the iPad!
Sonja Brooks & Donna Klein, 1st Grade
Project Summary: Imagine having to work hard every time you open a book, not only to understand what is written but even to figure out the words! This challenge faces many of my struggling readers. Reading is fun but can become frustrating to those children. My students have learned WHY we read and they are excited to be able to do it. Reading doesn't come fast to all children; the ones who struggle often find the "fun" wearing off as time goes by and they still aren't getting it. The technology I am requesting is Leap Frog Tag Readers. This will make it possible for students who are struggling to pick up a book and be successful with it.
Project Update: Our lower readers have used the tag readers to help them with word identification, phonics skills, and most importantly, reading independently and enjoying a book. Many times, struggling readers have a limited choice of books that can hold their attention and interest, and that they can truly enjoy. When there are a limited number of words that a struggling reader can actually identify and read, the book/text supporting those few words can be boring and uninteresting. The tag readers have opened the reading world of these students, and helped with this difficulty. These students now have access to, and more choices of, interesting reading material as they can now "read" what is being read to them by the tag readers. The books chosen for the grant are not lower level books, rather books that higher level readers choose to read on their own. Our struggling readers can now make the same book choices, and feel success in their ability to "read" independently like their peers.
Mary Hughes, Linda Kirk, Pattie Boore, Emily Dancer; 4th grade
Project Summary: We would like to purchase Kindle Fires in order to "fire" up our kids and motivate them to read and discuss books. Using technology will create synergy and excitement while students develop lifelong reading skills. The Fire will support the development of reading strategies: most notably vocabulary and comprehension. Additionally, the Fire allows students to read excerpts from books prior to selecting them in order to determine if the book is "just right". The Fire encourages students to learn more with easy access to word definitions, note taking, highlighting, and Google access. Our students with special needs (visual, academic) will be able to use the Fire like any other student. The Fire has many built in features as well as apps to support these students and it removes the stigma of reading an "easy" book.
Spring Mills Elementary
Keely Aman & Greg Ristau; 5th grade
Project Summary: This proposal is requesting the use of eight Apple iPads and eight iPod Touches to be shared between two fourth grade classrooms. Using WOW writing platform, iPads and iPod Touches would be integrated into the writing curriculum to enhance and improve current efforts in the fourth grade that paper and pencil cannot compete with. Twenty-first century skills require twenty-first century tools. The use of such innovative technology will provide students with authentic learning experiences that nurture intrinsic motivation, provide the environment to learn and practice new skills safely; and incorporate exciting, engaging, and meaningful learning for students.
Kalie Miller, Annemarie Brinkman, Lorri Adams, Philip Wahtola, Patti Knudsen, Michele Hojnacki, Doug Burke & Sue Foster
Project Summary: Smart Boards are interactive electronic presentation devices that interface with computers. The computer images are displayed on the board by a mounted digital projector, where they can be seen and manipulated by teachers and students. By mounting our projectors we plan to help our students go from being partially proficient to a proficient or higher math competency determined by MEAP. The interactive use of technology will encourage student learning by actually doing, physically interacting and it has been a proven method used to encourage critical thinking. When used correctly Smart Board technology is a powerful instructional tool that promotes student learning.