Innovate to Educate Entry

The Richland School of Academic Arts

Dan Jones, Teacher

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

I have created a distance learning program at my school that now stretches around the globe. I began this program because I knew that my students were not able to travel to many of the location that we studied in social studies, so I wanted to bring those locations to them. As we studied the Declaration of Independence, I contacted the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to see if they would be able to talk about the Declaration of Independence with my students. They were thrilled to have been
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What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

Some of the biggest challenges with a program like this is ensuring a strong internet connection. My school was able to increase our internet speed as well as put a router in my room to help insure a stronger, more reliable internet connection. Another challenge in developing a program like this is finding agencies that are open to distance learning opportunities. I was able to overcome this challenge by just emailing and calling them to explain what it was I wanted to do and how we had been able to set it up in previous sessions.

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

One of the biggest components that must be in place is a strong, reliable internet connection.
A second component, and often over looked component, is a router that can handle the amount of devices that will be used.
And finally, a component that must be present is a willingness to try new things.

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