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What would you do with the gift of $2,000 to your school? December 24, 2006

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology.

Happy Holidays!

dollar-sign.jpgA fellow MidLink editor of mine posed an interesting question that we would all be so fortunate to have… “What would you do with a gift of $2,000 that was given to your school in terms of technology equipment, etc. in order to have the greatest impact on the school?” To make this question of further interest, her school is very well equipped in terms of whiteboards, cameras, and now voice recorders.

I thought about this over a cup of coffee while at my parents’ home where I will be lucky enough to be able to bounce so many of my ed tech ideas off of my siblings and parents over the next several days. My parents both taught in public education for 35+ years each. Now retired, they are digital immigrants that have a love of learning as they are well connected to their mac powerbooks. My twin sister, a vice principle (a special education techie by training) works in one of the largest elementary schools in the state of Kansas as she lives off of the military base, Fort Riley. My brother, an advanced high school math and physics teacher, a mechanical engineer by training, works for a small school outside of Champaign, Illinois. Both have a love of learning and technology that rival my own.

So after tossing this question around for a bit and discussing it with my well connected, techie siblings, here is what I came up with… “the most lasting impact that this money could buy would be professional development to help your teachers take it to the next level in terms of their tech skills such that they could guide students in innovative project based work rooted in sound content. My idea: hire someone to come in and teach your teachers some Web 2.0 technologies (with very practical “lesson plans”) that they can immediately implement in the classroom with the equipment that the school already has. All teachers who attend the professional development and implement an innovative student based technology project would be given a free digital camera, web camera, .mp3 player/voice recorder, etc. for their own personal use and for their classrooms. So long as the teacher stays at the school for three years- the technology is theirs… (by that time it will have depreciated so much that it will need to be replaced by the school anyway). Give the gift of a nudge in the direction of life-long learning to those educators who are in the “middle” of the tech skill continuum such that they can “pay it forward” to their students. Hundreds of students learning new tech skills by enthused and invigorated teachers would have very long lasting impact at your school.”

What would you do? How would you spend this money for your school? Send your thoughts!



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