Innovate to Educate Entry

Odyssey Day School

Stephanie A Wilkins, Head Elementary Teacher

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

We held our first ever STEAM Night in January 2016. It was a labor of love that involved administrators, teachers, students, families, and community volunteers. The evening involved a variety of activities/presentations from that represented each of the areas of STEAM. The event brought our school community an increased awareness of and appreciation for integrated learning across the curriculum. It also highlighted the technology that is taught in the classrooms. From squishy circuits, and conductive
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What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

The most challenging aspect was coordination. However, we were very inspired. As I stated, everyone from the BOD (Board of Directors), to younger siblings of current Odyssey Day School students participated in this project. Due to a limited budget we had to be creative around materials and such to use. We were able to use items already available at school. Parents/teachers donated some of the materials/items. Administration afforded a small budget for any other items needed. Really we were able to pull this event together because it was embraced by all!

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

Everyone at all levels and departments must be motivated and invested in the development.
Money must be available (grants, etc.) or a way to have materials/items donated or 'trialed' with the option to be given the item by the company in exchange for review.
Open-mind and patience! Not everything moves quickly. The equipment/software/items/and people's thinking! They all can take time to transition/boot-up if you will. Recognize that change doesn't always come easy. But it will come.

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