Homer Elementary School knows the power of collaboration. What started as a Facebook post from an East Central University (ECU) college instructor led to an amazing partnership. ECU Education Instructor Debbie Claxton sought an opportunity for her students to teach elementary students how to code small robots. Homer Elementary School teachers Jayci Harris and Sunny Swopes answered the call, inviting ECU to their classrooms and winning a grant from the Byng Excellence in Education Foundation to purchase the robots. This experience is building strong foundations in critical thinking, problem solving, cooperative learning and peer teaching.
For its dedication to student success, community collaboration and innovative use of technology to enhance student learning, Homer Elementary School will receive $50,000 in products and services from CDW-G partners such as Cisco, Cisco Meraki, HP and Lenovo.
Collaboration Nation video entries poured in from nearly 60 schools and districts nationwide, with educators, technologists and administrators eager to share their school or district’s exemplary educational technology collaboration.
The distinguished Collaboration Nation judging panel – Mike Patterson, K-12 education strategist for CDW-G and former educator; Ann McMullan, consultant, public speaker and writer; and Stephen Noonoo, editor, eSchool News – reviewed each award entry to assess overall education vision and strategy, project goals, program success and the level of collaboration.
“The entries were astounding,” said CDW-G’s Patterson. “We saw schools redefine learning spaces to enable technology integration, use devices to improve reading and math skills, and provide technology as a means to empower students to become creators, collaborators and innovators.”
Homer Elementary School’s entry exceeded all criteria. The school’s program taught elementary students to use laptops to code small robots to follow patterns, move from point A to point B and navigate courses. Students worked collaboratively to code robots and ultimately showed an increased ability to problem solve, think critically and successfully work with peers.
“We are so excited to win the Collaboration Nation grand prize,” said Vicki Wilson, principal, Homer Elementary School. “Collaboration was key, not only for initiating this program, but also for encouraging students to work together to achieve success. Our ultimate goal is for students to leave our rural Oklahoma school knowing they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. This program and prize help us to continue that mission.”
Thank you to everyone who entered Collaboration Nation.