EDTECH 551 – Fall 2013

Module 7 – 12/2/13

Budget:

The goal of this grant proposal is to ensure the graduates of All Saints Catholic School (ASCS) are exposed to language and culture important in the bilingual and multi-cultural globalized workforce of today with the integration of tablets. By providing the students the opportunity to study foreign language with the use of tablets, they will have increased access to bi-lingual instruction.

In order for ASCS to achieve its goal, the school is requesting funding for the following equipment:

Nomenclature Quantity Unit Cost Total Cost
Tablets 10 $499.00 $4,990.00
Charge & Sync Station 1 $1,199.95 $1,199.95
Protective Covers 10 $49.95 $499.95
Wireless Keyboards 10 $59.95 $599.95
Cleaning Kits 2 $29.95 $59.90
Estimated Shipping Costs     $500.00
       
Total     $7,849.75

The tablets will serve as the primary means of instruction with lessons being managed and guided by the classroom teacher. The Charge & Sync Station will be stationed in a secure location to house the tablets when not in use. Protective covers are a necessary component to protect the tablets from possible damage if dropped. The wireless keyboards will provide the students with an authentic replica an actual computer. Typing skills acquired from the keyboards are transferable to other subject areas as the student’s progress through the grades. For hygiene purposes, two cleaning kits are being requested. All applications used to achieve the goal of this grant proposal will be at no cost in order to reduce procurement and maintenance costs. Since the tablets are highly portable, this will allow for quick set up and take down in the individual classrooms. The proposed budget provides funding for All Saints Catholic School to procure the equipment necessary to provide students in grades K-6 access to a foreign language.

Evaluation:

Grant Evaluator Contact Information:

Denise Hammrich

208-743-4411

dhammrich@ascs-pk6.org

641 5th Avenue

Lewiston, Idaho 83501

To best manage the implementation of the tablet driven Spanish program at ASCS, the following procedures will be put in place immediately upon receipt of funding. The objectives will be evaluated by the following means.

To increase the availability of bi-lingual instruction for ASCS students by more than 50% from two thirty minute sessions per week to five by Fall 2014.

  • Teachers will provide the principal with a schedule documenting the newly revised schedule for Spanish instruction increasing class length from two thirty minute classes to either four thirty minute classes or two sixty minute classes per week.
  • Teacher lesson plans will be reviewed by the principal quarterly to ensure compliance to the agreed upon schedule for Spanish instruction.
  • To ensure the equipment purchased with this grant is used to its fullest potential, the principal will conduct unannounced spot checks quarterly during scheduled foreign language periods.
  • The principal will conduct quarterly observations in grades K-6. The principal will complete an evaluationfor each teacher. The recipient will make comments as necessary.
  • The program will be continually assessed. Teachers will collaborate quarterly during a staff meeting regarding the effectiveness of the applications being used. Applications used in all grades will be reviewed quarterly and either be updated or replaced as necessary. A running record of all applications being used in grades K-6 will be maintained on the school server. The running record will include name of application, site URL, comments, and the date the application was initially used or the date the site was determined to be no longer useful.
  • All serial numbers will be recorded and kept in a file maintained on the school server.

To increase individual classroom scheduling flexibility in grades K-6 for Spanish instruction by 40% by Fall 2014.

To increase scaffolding options for students in grades K-6 depending upon learner ability from beginner to advanced by Fall 2014.

  • Lesson plans will be collected quarterly documenting the applications used in each grade and the level of difficulty ranging from novice to advanced will be annotated.

To increase exposure to the Spanish culture by 50% utilizing technology by Fall 2014

  • The implementation dates will be disseminated to the teachers prior to the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Teachers will collaborate and provide the principal with a schedule documenting the newly revised length of class.
  • To ensure compliance with the program, the principal will assess all lesson plans associated with this program quarterly in grades K-6.
  • Student work will be assessed using a grade level appropriate standard four-point rubric.

To increase the creation of bilingual visual or auditory presentations by 100% for all sixth grade students graduating from ASCS.

  • Student slide presentations will be collected and kept in an electronic portfolio demonstrating an increased level of difficulty as the student’s progress through grades K-6. Students in grades 4-6 will be responsible for posting their work into a pre-assigned folder. The classroom teachers in grades K-3 will maintain student portfolios.

The evaluations from the observations will be collected and assessed by the principal. Once the assessments are completed, the evaluations will be placed in the teacher’s personnel record for future use. The quarterly surveys completed by the teachers will be collected, evaluated, and stored for three years. The principal will consider all suggestions or recommendations to improve the program. All lesson plans for the program will be collected quarterly and assessed by the principal to ensure compliance with the program. The lesson plans will then be stored on the school server for future reference. All students participating in the program at ASCS will begin to create an electronic portfolio beginning in kindergarten and culminating in the sixth grade upon graduation. The portfolio will document the student’s progress in the acquisition of a foreign language while attending ASCS. The classroom teacher will be responsible for assessing student work in accordance with a grade level appropriate rubric.

Module 6 – 11/17/13

Goal:

Graduates of All Saints Catholic School (ASCS) will be exposed to language and culture important in the bilingual and multi-cultural globalized workforce of today with the integration of tablets.

Objectives:

  • To increase the availability of bi-lingual instruction for ASCS students by more than 50% from two thirty minute sessions per week to five by Fall 2014.
  • To increase individual classroom scheduling flexibility in grades K-6 for Spanish instruction by 40% by Fall 2014.
  • To increase scaffolding options for students in grades K-6 depending upon learner ability from beginner to advanced by Fall 2014.
  • To increase exposure to the Spanish culture by 50% utilizing technology by Fall 2014.
  • To increase the creation of bilingual visual or auditory presentations by 100% for all sixth grade students graduating from ASCS.

 

Narrative:

The focus of this grant project is to increase the accessibility to bilingual instruction for students at ASCS with the integration of technology, specifically tablets. ASCS is committed to educating the whole person and helping the students grow in knowledge, preparing them for the multi-cultural globalized workforce of today. At this time ASCS students attend Spanish classes taught by a volunteer twice per week. Equipment purchased with the approval of this grant proposal will allow all students to receive foreign language instruction five times per week, therefore increasing instructional availability by 50%.

Currently, class scheduling for Spanish instruction is restricted to the volunteer’s schedule depending upon their availability. With the addition of the tablets, the teaching staff will collaborate to create a schedule meeting the needs of each individual class vice working around the volunteer’s schedule. The existing schedule allows two thirty- minute class periods per week. A revised schedule will increase instruction time to two sixty-minute periods or four thirty-minute periods. As the primary source for guiding instruction, the tablets will be available for each class to use at the designated time. When the tablets are not in use, teachers wanting to incorporate additional foreign language instruction will have the flexibility to achieve this. The tablets will be available on a first come basis and will be returned promptly to ensure availability for the next scheduled class.

At the present time, regardless of individual ability, all students participate in Spanish as a whole class. Scaffolding is not an option due to the lack of resources and length of existing class periods. Students at ASCS have varying levels of understanding of the Spanish language. Depending upon student ability, tablets will allow the teacher to scaffold instruction starting from novice through advanced language knowledge. Scaffolding will allow students to proceed at their own pace while still learning a second language.

Expanding exposure to the Spanish language and culture will help prepare the students attending ASCS for the bilingual workforce of today. Utilizing the equipment purchased with this grant, students will experience an increased availability of bilingual language and cultural instruction by 50% each week. With the increased accessibility, the additional exposure will result in overall greater knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of Spanish by actively using the language in all oral and written work. All audio and video presentations will also be completed in Spanish.

In addition to oral and written language, students will be exposed to the music, dance, and art of the Spanish culture. Each quarter throughout the school year, the students will focus on one style of Spanish music, dance, and art. Students will learn about four genres of Hispanic music including but not limited to Salsa, Mariachi, Latin pop, and Latin Jazz. After researching and listening to the different styles, the students will be able to identify the differences between the four genres. They will create a slide presentation discussing the music styles focusing on the significance each style on the Spanish culture. Students will also create audio clips using the tablets replicating the sound of the focus genre. These will be included on the slide presentations. In addition to learning about music, students will learn the steps to the Mambo, Salsa, Merengue, and Flamenco dances.   Working in small groups, the students will create a video montage using the camera on the tablet demonstrating the four different styles of dance. They will be able to identify and discuss the meaning of each dance. Art is another important aspect of the Spanish culture. Studying about such artists as Salvador Dali, Jean-Michael Bazquiat, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo, students will learn about the style and impact each artist has had on the world. Students will demonstrate knowledge of each style of art by creating a drawing, scanning the work using the tablets, and downloading the file to a slide presentation. All slide presentations will be downloaded and embedded on the school website for viewing.

As stated earlier, all students graduating from ASCS will be able to create visual and audio presentations using tablets using Spanish. These presentations will become more complex and exhibit higher order thinking as the student progresses through the grades. The integration of tablets will provide the students with the resources necessary to complete the assigned tasks along with increasing their knowledge and demonstration of a second language. Students will not only be developing a greater understanding of a second language and the culture, but they will also be improving technology skills necessary to be competitive in the bilingual workforce they will be entering as adults.

 

 

Module 5 – 11/10/13

Schools across America, both public and private, are facing a financial crisis. Private schools in particular are experiencing financial hardships not previously encountered. Due to increased operating costs and decreased enrollment, funding for the Spanish program at All Saints Catholic School (ASCS) in Lewiston, Idaho has been eliminated. Currently, the school is depending on a volunteer to teach Spanish to 134, grades K-6, twice per week. Of those 134 students, ten percent are minorities.

We live in a world which has evolved from one of relative isolation to that of a highly mobile population. Success is often based on one’s ability to clearly articulate using more than one language. Those pursuing professional careers and pleasure travel abroad realize the importance of being able to verbally communicate in the host country. Humans can no longer afford to be monolingual.

Currently, ASCS is the only elementary school in the city out of nine providing a foreign language to the students. The students at ASCS currently participate in two thirty-minute Spanish classes per week. With the integration of tablets, students would potentially have access to Spanish classes five days per week. The additional foreign language classes will better prepare the students as they enter high school. All students in Idaho must complete at least two credits of a foreign language prior to graduation.   The Idaho Department of Education recommends for college freshmen have more than two credits of a foreign language prior to applying for enrollment for post-secondary schools in Idaho.

Students who begin learning a foreign language in elementary school experience increased listening ability, memory, creativity, and critical thinking skills. As adults, students who have studied a foreign language in grades K-12 and in college, are highly sought after in the workforce. There is an ever increasing demand in America for workers who speak a second language, specifically Spanish, in both the corporate and blue-collar sectors. The demand for bilingual workers is also high internationally. Unfortunately due to budget constraints, many schools are discontinuing foreign language classes. The lack of available classes poses a threat to people seeking employment nationally and internationally.   Workers not meeting the bilingual requirement criteria set forth by the employer will not be hired.

Being bilingual has many benefits other than professional success. Research has shown bilingual senior citizens perform general tasks at a faster rate than their monolingual peers.   Senior citizens who speak multiple languages daily produce more brain activity. Young children who have access to bilingual education and continue to speak more than one language throughout life will experience a healthier existence as they age. It is desireable all children learn to speak more than one language fluently. In order to achieve this, students beginning in kindergarten, need to regularly participate in foreign language education.   Should funding for a state certified teacher be unavailable, educators must resort to an alternative means.  Tablets are a viable option to fill this gap.

 

 

 

Module 4 – 10/10/13

Needs Assessment:

Schools across America, both public and private, are facing a financial crisis. Private schools in particular are experiencing many hardships not previously encountered.   Currently, All Saints Catholic School is relying on a volunteer to teach Spanish to 140 students grades K-6 twice a week. The time will come when the volunteer must find full-time employment and the school will lose the entire program. Students who begin learning a foreign language in elementary school experience an increase in listening ability, memory, creativity, and critical thinking. As adults, students who have studied a foreign language K-12 are highly sought after in the work force. There is an ever increasing demand for workers in America, both corporate and blue collar, who speak a second language, primarily Spanish.

Goals and Objectives:

The goal of this grant proposal is to alleviate the need for a state certified Spanish teacher and provide the students with the tools to learn Spanish using technology.

The objectives include:

  • To reduce the likelihood of the Spanish program at All Saints Catholic School from being permanently discontinued due to the lack of a state certified Spanish teacher.
  • To increase availability of foreign language in grades K-6 from two days a week to five days per week
  • To increase schedule flexibility for classroom teachers to teach Spanish.
  • To increase scaffolding options in the Spanish program depending upon learner ability.

Narrative:

All Saints Catholic School depends heavily upon volunteers to continue with current operations. Volunteers are a valuable resource for the school however scheduling becomes an issue for subjects taught on a regular basis. The school has been fortunate for the past three years to have a dedicated and highly qualified Spanish teacher volunteer their time while they pursue a master’s degree. The time is drawing near when the volunteer will have completed their program and begins to pursue full time employment. This will leave a void in the schools highly touted Spanish program.

Budget:

A very generous volunteer teaches Spanish to grades K-6 at All Saints Catholic School. Currently the program is of no cost to the school with the exception of minimal supplies costing less than $100.00 annually. Should a full-time Spanish teacher be included on the payroll at the school, the cost incurred would be upwards of $3000.00 annually

The one time purchase cost of ten tablets for the sole purpose of teaching Spanish would be $499.00 per unit. Additionally, protective covers totaling $44.95 per cover would also need to be procured to protect the investment in the tablets. The total budget for the program will be $5439.50. A Spanish curriculum would not have to be purchased for grades K-6 due to the availability of high quality, free applications.

Evaluation:

The following points must be evaluated prior to the purchase or implementation of this program:

  • The cost effectiveness of using tablets as an alternative to hiring a state certified Spanish teacher
  • The type and brand of hardware requested must be carefully considered
  • When and how will professional development be provided to the staff in preparation for teaching Spanish using tablets
  • How will a collaborative selection of grade level appropriate foreign language applications be made
  • How will critical thinking of the students be affected
  • How will the tablets be deployed throughout the school
  • Where will the tablets be stowed when not in use
  • Who will be responsible for the maintenance of the tablets

Module 3 – 9/29/13

The Levels of Edit concept made me more cognizant of the finer details associated with technical writing. Focusing on specific characteristics of each type of edit, I was able to conduct a thorough review of the STEM application. Using the Levels of Edit as a guide, errors began to surface immediately. Some were obvious during the first reading of the application, with more becoming apparent upon subsequent reviews.

Prior to reviewing the STEM application, I familiarized myself with the required elements of the grant at http://www.ed.gov/programs/innovation/applicant/html. The first error noted was the allowed length of the document. The website states the project narrative should be limited to twenty-five pages. The STEM application consists of thirty-four pages, which could potentially disqualify it from consideration by the reviewing authority.

While conducting the Policy Edit review, I realized the document did not have a cover and title page or table of contents. The website made reference to the table of contents not counting toward the twenty-five page limit. This element should have been included in the final draft. Continuing with the review process, the Screening Edit was complete; however other errors should have been corrected during the Copy Clarification Edit. A number of sentences were underscored for no apparent reason. For example on page 3, a large section of the middle paragraph was underscored along with the first word in the sentence being in all capital letters.

Formatting errors were also present. Specifically, on page seven, the bulleted items should begin with a capital letter. The mechanical style of the document needs to be revised. There is no consistency with how numbers were written. Word and number form are both present in the document. The writer needs to be consistent using either word or number form, but not both. All acronyms must be identified first with the entire title followed by the acronym enclosed in parenthesis.

Numerous punctuation errors were discovered during the Language Edit. All lists in the document need to be punctuated correctly using commas in a series of three or more items. On page twenty-eight, a major oversight was noticed; “.:” followed the sentence ending with “The Texas High School Project.” During the final review of the document, on page two, I noticed the first word of the third sentence was not capitalized, confirming the importance of the Substantive Edit.

Referring to the Levels of Edit as I begin to develop a grant, unnecessary errors will be avoided, necessitating fewer corrections during the final review. All spelling and sentence errors will be corrected during the Screening Edit. Using the Format and Mechanical Style Editing guidelines, my document will be initially formatted correctly. As the grant takes shape, the remaining Levels of Edit will serve as a reference ensuring a professional document is produced, meeting the requirements of the grantor.

Module 2 – 9/14/13

Titles are often deceptive leaving the reader searching for more understanding. An article titled “Does cloud computing have a silver lining?” leads one to believe it is about the positive effect of cloud computing. This was not the case. After reading this journal article, I wonder if cloud computing is worth the environmental impact.

Modern technology provides users with nearly instantaneous information twenty-four hours a day, but where does the information come from. Does it just magically appear? In a sense, it does float to the user, somewhat like a cloud. Cloud computing is a term dating back to the 1960s. According to Mark Koba, senior editor for CNBC, “The phrase originates from the cloud symbol used by flow charts and diagrams to symbolize the Internet.” The phrase was recently introduced to the public in August of 2006.  Cloud computing is defined as “the use of remote servers not only to store files but also the software needed to access and change them.” Obviously, the servers supporting clouds require an energy source, which is electricity.

Drawing upon natural resources to provide electricity for servers supporting cloud computing is a growing concern. “Based on current trends, energy consumed by data centers will continue to grow by 12% per year,” this according to the US Department of Energy and US Environmental Protection Agency in 2008. Servers are typically never turned off, therefore continually consuming excessive quantities of electricity. Sadly, as cloud computing gains momentum, so does the unnecessary consumption of electricity.

Server farms are being constructed at an alarming rate to support the growing use of cloud computing. Shipping containers are transformed into server farms, sometimes housing as many as “1160 servers into a single shipping container.” The converted shipping containers are stacked together and networked to provide Internet users with access to unending information. Each container can draw “as much as 250 kilowatts of power.” Some farms can be as large as “45 containers, each drawing down 10 megawatts a piece.” How many of these server farms exist and what is the environmental impact?

Google, for example, is estimated to have “from 200,000 to half a million” servers, and this is only one technology company providing cloud computing. Statistics show “only 6 percent of server capacity is in constant use, and nearly 30 percent is entirely unused. Consider the fact “each Google search generated between 1 and 10 grams of CO2, allowing for searches that don’t succeed at first click, and for the running of the computer.” Cloud computing is contaminating the environment one click at a time. The general population expects immediate information but may not realize the damage being done to the environment.

Globally, server farms are present on every continent, needlessly consuming energy to store enormous amounts of information. As more wireless devices are manufactured, more information is being stored on a cloud, creating “A vast demand for new storage and communications services.” Storage of movies, games, books, etc. containing large amounts of data on the cloud is creating a digital storage crisis. According to J. Gantz, “the amount of information created captured, or replicated exceeded available storage for the first time in 2007. Not all information created and transmitted gets stored, but by 2011, almost half of the digital universe will not have a permanent home.” Not only are server farms consuming monumental amounts of electricity but; the digital universe could soon experience a shortage or even the non-availability of storage.

Consumers expect and assume instant access to information with little regard to sustainability and environmental damage. Considering some form of technology controls all aspects of modern life with much dependent upon cloud computing, a solution must be identified. It is estimated that as of 2006, “IT manufacture and use is responsible for 2 percent of global carbon emissions” and “is heading for 3 percent by 2020.” Thirty to forty years ago, the government was concerned about the environmental impact of aerosol products. Now consider how technology, an integral part of our lives, is consuming monumental amounts of energy along with increasing the global carbon footprint more than five times between 2002 and 2020. Two to three percent may not seem like staggering numbers but it all adds up to a negative impact on the environment.

Governments and large companies must take the initiative in finding a solution to this growing problem. One solution is to decrease the number of multiple copies and drafts of documents stored on numerous hard drives. Compare this to hoarding, we must choose what to save and what can be discarded. Due to the rapidly decreasing storage space in cloud computing, users must begin to more openly share information and entertainment. Through open sharing, the number of duplicate files will decrease dramatically.

Open sharing of information brings up the issue of security. All users “demand security and privacy for their materials.” Fear of classified information falling into the hands of unauthorized users or enemy factions resonates loudly throughout the cloud computing community. While scientists and others are pushing for “non-copy-right, open-access journals and publishing,” corporations are concerned with making a profit and keeping information secure. The drive for profit is a major contributor to the digital storage crisis.

Since the goal is to decrease the energy consumption and carbon emissions, the following changes must take place. Governments need to encourage all corporations to “synchronize product lifecycle policies for manufacture, use and recycling of electronic goods” along with developing compatible technical standards.   Increased availability of cross-platform computers and operating systems will decrease the number of duplicate files stored in server farms, which in turn will lessen the amount of energy consumed.  With these changes, the silver lining of cloud computing will become more luminous.

Reference:

Cubitt, S., Hassan, R. and Volkmer I. (2011). Does cloud computing have a silver lining?. Media Culture Society, 149-158. doi: 10.1177/0163443810382974

Koba, M. (2013, June). Cloud computing: CNBC Explains. CNBC. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/43483060

Module 1 – 8/31/13

For this assignment I decided to select a grant proposal, which I drafted and submitted on very short notice in May 2013. Information regarding the grant was located on the Idaho State Department of Education website and the proposal was submitted to Century Link, who were the sponsors. The intended goal of this grant proposal was to procure a set of ten iPads for the fourth grade at All Saints Catholic School. Currently, the students are using outdated, obsolete computers and are in need of up-to-date technology.

The required criteria for the proposal included an explanation of the current innovation being requested along with a project narrative outlining exactly how the technology would be utilized in the classroom. Certain parts of the project narrative were pertinent to the grant proposal and others should have been eliminated during the revision phase. The first four paragraphs, in general, were strong although the wording was clumsy. I am still unsure whether or not I should have included the part about being in the Master of Educational Technology program at Boise State University. Initially I thought this background information may help my proposal but now upon closer review, I believe it may have been too much personal information. After all, the proposal is about the children not the teacher.

The third and fourth paragraphs were the strongest and most informative of the entire document. These paragraphs contain information about why the iPad was selected as the innovation of choice. Included also was and explanation of how the technology would be integrated in the classroom.

Another strength of this entire document was the limited use of jargon or acronyms. I am very careful to provide the entire title with the acronym noted in parentheses in any document. The readability statistics was last the strength I was able to identify. The grant proposal submitted to Century Link had a Flesch Reading Ease of 50.4 and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 10.6. At this point, these are the only strengths noted on this grant proposal, leaving considerable room for improvement.

Originally I was satisfied with the final draft of this document, however upon closer review, many errors are becoming more obvious. One major weakness noted was the overuse of first person pronouns. I am terribly embarrassed about this overuse, since I am very anti-pronoun. This is an example of rushing though a project and not allowing sufficient time to review the document prior submission. Unfortunately, I was forwarded the information shortly before the due date. This proposal was rushed and filled with errors.

Although initially I was pleased with the detailed list of uses, the list should have been shorter and more comprehensive. By listing twelve projected uses with limited explanations, the reviewing board was probably thinking that I truly had no true direction in which to utilize the iPads. The list should have been narrowed down to specifically reading, writing, or mathematical based applications. It should have contained information about how exactly the technology would help improve student performance.

After reading the “Checklist For Evaluating Your Writing Style” several times, besides the document being more passive than active, I believe the greatest weakness of this grant proposal was the overall lack of student information. The document was entirely too short and did not contain socio-economic status, race, gender, and most importantly, test scores data. This document lacks a solid reason for justifying the procurement of iPads. Statistics linking improved test scores to the use of iPads in the classroom should have also been included in the proposal. Rushing through any project does not pay off.

 

Document for Analysis

 Current Innovation

Technology is ever changing and sometimes viewed as a frivolous luxury or unnecessary in the classroom. Unfortunately, too often technology is purchased for use in the schools is not utilized to its fullest extent or is not maintained properly. After careful consideration and extensive research, I have decided that the iPad would be the most versatile and useful digital tool in my classroom. Currently I have seventeen students with 24 projected for next year. A set of ten iPads in the classroom would allow me to provide iPad access to all students everyday. This would in turn begin to teach my students about the digital world that they are part of.

Several physical advantages of the iPad over laptops also exist. The battery lifespan and battery life of the iPad is also important to consider. With proper storage and software updates, the iPad will offer up to ten hours of usage before needing to be charges. Since the iPad is a small, compact digital tool, storage in the classroom would be simple. Being a user-friendly device, the iPad would require minimal maintenance, provide mobile access to all students, and allow for unlimited flexibility to meet the needs of all students.

Project Narrative

Integrating technology in the classroom has become a priority of mine since I began teaching five years ago. For first several years of teaching, I truly thought if I used Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, I was integrating technology. Two years ago, I began to get frustrated, knowing full well there was more out there than just Microsoft products. Realizing it was time to further educate myself, I applied for the Master of Educational Technology program at Boise State University and began taking classes in January 2013.

Immediately my eyes were opened and I began to see the endless opportunities that are available to our students if the technology is made available to them. Many different types of hardware and software are marketed but one must be careful to not make unwise choices. Following recent trends in technology and personal experience, I have found the Apple iPad to be an outstanding tool in the classroom. Deciding I needed to have personal experience with the iPad before proposing the procurement of this item to the administrators of our school, I purchased one. It has become a tool I bring to school with me everyday.

The project I would like to propose is to acquire ten iPads for use in the forth grade. The iPad provides versatility and portability not associated with desktop and laptop computers. During the fourth grade, students begin to mature academically in different stages. Some of these stages are more advanced than others and it becomes challenging for the teacher to differentiate the curriculum without peers taking note. Through the integration of iPads in the classroom, as teacher, I would be able to differentiate and meets the needs of the students with much more efficiency.

Students learn best through authentic learning situations. Technology is an integral part of our future whether we want to accept it or not. Uses of an iPad in the classroom setting are basically open ended, depending on how the educator chooses to utilize the tool. One can quickly become overwhelmed with the apps available for the iPad, so careful consideration of usage must occur before procurement. After researching endless possibilities and reviewing curriculum taught in my classroom, the following are uses I would have for a classroom set of iPads:

  1. Create and collaborate on Google Docs
    1. Currently, the students in the fourth grade at All Saints Catholic School are actively using Google Docs to create, edit, and publish documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. They are able to electronically turn in their finished homework, I am then able to make comments, grade it, and return the work to them. The excitement this has generated has been amazing to experience. The iPad would allow mobile digital access to all of my students.
  2. Assessment of understanding
    1. Assessments in all subject areas will be made.
  3. Individualization, differentiation, and personalization of curriculum
    1. Assignments can be tailored to meet the needs of all students depending on varying levels of ability and student self esteem will still be intact.
  4. Math skills
    1. For students struggling in math, an individualized application will be provided so skills can be improved. Ready and reliable access to an iPad will help all students.
  5. Reading and oral presentations
    1. Leveled reading will be more available to all readers. Students will also be able to create oral presentations utilizing Google docs and the microphone on the iPad.

6. Graphic organizers

a. Graphic organizers will be used to help students organize their thoughts and

information before beginning a writing project.

7. Strip designer – create “comics”

a. Students will be able to create writing projects in a child friendly application by

using Strip Designer. Children at this age enjoy reading comics, and what

better comic to

read than one of your own that you have created.

  1. Subject based presentations
    1. In all content areas, students will be able to create presentations that can not only be viewed by their classmates and teachers but can be published on line using authorStream or YouTube.
    2. Virtual tours of historical locations Google Earth – Lewis & Clark, Oregon Trail,

mining, etc.

  1. Incorporating virtual tours in the classroom will provide students with an

opportunity to see the world through the screen of an iPad. As educators, we must teach the children about the world they live in and not everyone is able to travel. Travel through history using an iPad.

11. Work with images

a. Learning how to work with digital images is a lifelong tool. Students will learn

how to select images, resize images, and create banners to be used on all

form of digital products.

12. Blogging

a. Currently, the fourth grade class at All Saints Catholic School has an active

blog. The iPad would allow more students to blog.   They would be able to

create their blog entry using Google docs and then copy and paste it to the

blog site.

I realize the list above appears long but I also know there are many, many more applications available to educators. I feel it is best to start out with a completely manageable list of applications and then increase the usage over time. There is no doubt that if I were able to purchase a set of ten iPads for my classroom that they would be used on a daily basis.

My goal as an educator is to empower all students by providing them with greater access to resources, preparing them for the 21st century. Lessons will be tailored to meet individual students’ goals, needs, and interests. With the combination of existing technology at All Saints Catholic School and the addition of the iPads in our classroom, students would be able to meet the following International Society for Technology in Education standards:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Research and information fluency
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
  • Digital citizenship
  • Technology operations and concepts

As stated earlier, I use my personal iPad in the classroom daily and would appreciate the opportunity to provide all of my students with this experience. We must as educators try in all ways to help diminish the digital divide. Should my students be given access to this mobile technology, we would have done our part in helping fill in the divide and promote educational technology. Thank you for your consideration of this grant application.

Catherine Holthaus

4th Grade

All Saints Catholic School

Lewiston, Idaho 83501

 

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