Innovate to Educate Entry

East Orange STEM Academy

Bonnie Taylor, Teacher

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Pop Quiz

What innovative technology initiative or project are you most proud of, and how has it improved teaching and learning in your school/district?

Working in a STEM school, technology initiatives are imperative. As a technology educator I actively seek out opportunities to expand student’s exposure. Some projects that I am most proud of have been Skyping with Dr. Freemen Hrabowski III from UMBC. Also, a program that I use faithfully in my instruction is Edmodo-an online free classroom website where students can access work, post assignments, take quizzes, and provide peer feedback. Edmodo has a social media feel to its design and students engage more while using it.

What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

Not every student has access to the internet at home, so it’s imperative that you have multiple methods for students to access work. Besides using Edmodo, I also use text message software from Remind. This sends reminders directly to the student’s or parents' phone keeping them informed of what assignments are coming up. In today's climate information needs to be readily available and through multiple channels. It is essential that families have more than one way to access the information they need to be successful in your class.

What are the three biggest components that need to be in place for tech innovation to succeed are:

Technology innovations are allowing educators to offer more tailored instruction to their students. Programs like Edmodo have given me the opportunity to gain valuable data on my students study habits, personal preferences, and interests.
Using this information to design instruction for your students is an invaluable strategy to ensure your learners feel valued.
I find when a student knows that you are looking to meet their interests they demonstrate greater effort and enthusiasm.

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