April 15, 2011

Power is knowledge

Power is knowledge
Parshall Elementary upgrades technology with $100,000 grant

What would you ask for if you could have anything?
It sounds crazy but that is exactly what Parshall Elementary School teachers were asked earlier this year as the school district applied for a $100,000 technology grant.
The grant helped purchase 30 full-sized laptops, 15 printer/scanners combinations, 15 cameras and 30 USB drives that are eight gigabytes. The school has also purchased software and technological support to go with the new equipment.
The school was able to get a few deals on the laptops so they could expand the grant into possibly getting 10 new iPads for teachers to have an added advantage in teaching special needs students.
The grant added to a computer lab of 14 computers, netbooks that the students do state testing on and a SMART Board with document camera in every classroom.
At first it appeared that the grant was specially designed for schools such as Parshall that are looking to bring their education abilities into the 21st century but were lacking the funds to do so. According to Principal Brenda Herland there were 20 grants available and Parshall was already qualified before the proposal was awarded. The grant was made available through federal stimulus monies.
“We sent out a mass email asking teachers what their dreams would be for technology in the classroom,” Herland said. “All of the teachers submitted lists and looked at the needs of our school to put the application together.”
Technology is becoming a very important way to engage children with their lesson and another tool to help them relate to the topic at hand. Sixth grade teacher and technology coordinator Kristi Korgel noted that students have grown up knowing how to use technology around them and now the school system needs to quit playing catchup and get ahead of the technological curve.

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