Schools awarded technology grant

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eleven different teachers across Shelby County will soon have the opportunity to enhance their students’ communication skills through technology.

The school system recently received a $165,276 Enhancing Education Through Technology grant. The grant will involve 11 english and social studies teachers at Shelby County High and Thompson High schools.

Technology Coordinator Susan Poling said students don’t realize the importance of strong communication skills.

“Through this grant, we expect to see classes that traditionally involve students reading text, writing papers and listening to teacher lectures transform into very active environments where students with a wide range of goals and learning styles use technology to reach stronger levels of ability by doing,” Poling said.

The grant focuses on the importance of language skills. In fact, the grant was based on research, which showed students remember only 20 percent of what they hear, but 90 percent of what they do.

The money allows teachers to reach their students in different ways. The grant will provide money for white boards, digital graphic organizers and publishing software, digital document cameras and student response devices.

To further enhance student learning, teachers plan to collaborate with members of The Partnership, which is comprised of local employers associated with the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce. The Partnership members will provide professional development for teachers and conduct classroom presentations. The Partnership will also supply examples of real workplace documents.

Shelby County High School Principal Gene Rogers is thrilled to have the opportunity for Shelby County High students and teachers.

“Our school looks forward to utilizing these new resources and strategies in our classrooms,” Rogers said. “The chance to partner with Shelby County business leaders to ensure our students develop the communication and technology skills needed to be successful after graduation is very exciting.”

The students will develop multimedia presentations such as podcasts and digital movies that explain the documents to fellow classmates.