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And the winners are …

by Kelly Walsh on March 21, 2010

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Announcing the winners of the “Great Use of Ed Tech” story contest!

It’s my great pleasure to share some of the wonderful stories that were submitted to the contest I’ve been running for several weeks here, and to announce the winning entries.

With plenty of great stories about engaging, impactful uses of Education Technology in the classroom, it wasn’t easy selecting just one as a winner. As a matter of fact, I decided that two of these stories deserved a little lime light (actually they all do, and I’m sharing a little about some of the other submissions in this post). So, without any further ado, our two winning entries are …

Winning Submission: CPS clickers
7th grade math teacher Juanita Rodriguez wrote and told me about her use of CPS clickers (“Classroom Performance System”, a.k.a. Student Response Systems). “I have loved having this technology and the time it saves me, but when I started using CPS on a daily bases I started seeing FCAT scores increase … This gives me the opportunity to know instantly when my students do not understand the concept.” Students “went from 80% learning gains to over 97% in three years and the scores increased every year with increased use of the technology. I also have a room of students that are engaged and beg me to work problems – they love the technology also.” Rodriquez’s factual evidence of enhance learning outcomes, and clear student engagement earned her story a winning spot!

Winning Submission: Summer Tech Camp for low SES students
Teacher Dallas McPheeters introduced computer technology to K-5 students in a 4 week Summer Technology Camp for low socioeconomic status students living near the US/Mexico border. McPheeters applied for and received Title I funds and secured a brand new computer lab with 13 iMacs. “The students rose to the challenge and produced web pages, podcasts, embedded animotos, made and edited movies, and created photo albums with slide shows. Each grade worked according to their themed Unit of Study during their Summer School program.” Afterwards, McPheeters received reports from those participants who went on to middle school, explaining how “the Tech Camp emboldened them with confidence when facing new technologies, while other students remained apprehensive”. Clearly an impactful use of education technology.

A few other noteworthy submissions

- Teacher Michael Alfred submitted his story about the use of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) with 8th grade students, who used the technology as part of a project to identify and explain at least two reasons why the United States entered into WWI. Students were provided GPS coordinates that took them to locations in and around the school where clues and information were located. They ultimately had to figure out how the clues and info were connected, and then write a memo that would convince the President to enter into WWI. It sounds like this well planned project really engaged the students during the week before Christmas break (no small task!), and they had fun, worked together, and learned a good deal in the process.

- Teacher Thomas Charboneau submitted his story about the use of Google Docs and other tools with the students in his 8th grade Language Arts class. Students wrote a persuasive essay using Google docs, from which he chose 3 to share with the class, to evaluate their effectiveness. Charboneau then created a poll which students filled out, and he compiled and shared the results in a spreadsheet. “Students also shared their essays as view-only with other students so that they could do peer evaluations and self evaluations”. I thought this teacher did a good job of exposing students to multiple technology tools, and encouraging collaboration using these tools.

- Another noteworthy submission came from teacher Michael Stafford, who used a video camera and software to produce a “video yearbook”. Stafford explained that the traditional paper yearbook was beyond the financial reach of the small class he was dealing with. They were able to get access to a good video camera and software for video productions. “For the last 4 years the yearbook was and still is a video production. Students are engaged and learn about technology, quality production and several professions. As a result we have already had several graduates explore video productions as a career.”

Conclusion
I really enjoyed running this contest, and can’t wait to do it again next year. It is inspiring to hear how these educators are using technology in the classroom – providing useful skills to students and engaging them in their own learning journey.

Please be sure to stop back over the next few weeks and read the full length posts featuring our winning submissions!

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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