Grants bring new technology to schools
Special to the Tribune
The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) awarded more than a dozen classroom grants up to $12,000 to help teachers enhance student engagement, provide innovative instruction and close the achievement gap. Building on a crucial partnership, funding for these grants came from EDCOE and the El Dorado Community Foundation to benefit classrooms across the county’s school districts and countywide programs.
“The implementation of these grants is capitalizing on both emerging technologies and new approaches to education and assessing student learning,” said Superintendent of Schools Jeremy M. Meyers. “Several of these grants also provide students with access to technologies and devices not necessarily available at home, so students learn technologies crucial for success after high school – regardless of their socioeconomic status.”
Grants differed depending upon teacher goals, and funding was used to purchase specific equipment, professional development and training for specific devices. EDCOE’s Information Technology Department installed and set up the majority of the equipment. In addition, one of the grants went toward creating a collaborative, multi-district group of teachers who meet in-person and use an electronic messaging system to exchange ideas and share creative ways to deliver effective instruction. In South Tahoe High School, grant funding is used to take students though the entire process of publishing a book – from writing and photography to online publication.In EDCOE’s Special Services Autism Program, the teachers are already seeing vast improvements in their students’ academics and behaviors made possible by the iPads purchased for student use. To maximize resources, several grant recipients share equipment between multiple classrooms – giving even more students the ability to utilize the devices and learn. At Gold Oak Elementary School, devices are shared between first- and second- grade classrooms. First-grade teacher Susan Landon said, “I’m very appreciative of the grant, because these tools give me the opportunity to incorporate new technology, differentiate instruction and tailor lessons to students’ varying levels of learning. This technology keeps the students focused and allows me to grow as an educator.”
Gold Oak parent Jessica Carnahan added, “I’m glad the kids have access to these devices because our world incorporates technology everywhere you look.”
According to Meyers, “Throughout this entire process, teachers have truly committed themselves to the opportunities these grants have made possible. When applying, they outlined specific visions and have carried those visions forward to make a real difference in their classrooms. For information, visit http://www.edcoe.org.