An increasing number of local schools that partner with the Austin Teacher Program (ATP) are utilizing interactive white boards and/or mobile devices (IPads) for teaching. In order to better prepare our students for field experiences in these schools and their own future classrooms, it is vital that ATP faculty model and prepare and encourage students to create and present lessons using similar technology. To this end, the institution and the department are working together this summer to equip Temple Center with an interactive Epson Bright Link projector. With our previous projector/board, little instructional technology training was available to professors or students, and we were unable to require students to utilize the board due to lack of needed resources. We would utilize the Mellon grant to both enhance our own knowledge of the capabilities of the new Epson system and apps for IPads and to train, prepare, and assess our students in using the new technology resources for instruction and learning. This will be a collaborative approach as we share new learning, problem solve, and determine the best approach for elementary (475A) and secondary (475B) students.
This project centers on the Education 475: The Learner, The Teacher, and the Curriculum course in which students are often creating original lesson plans for the first time and have their first extended opportunities to plan and implement instruction. In recent iterations of this course, Drs. Shahid and Philipose have implemented digital products such as digital portfolios, digital stories, and digital reflections on teaching through Classroom Salon. Our hope for this project is to move from digital products to using digital pedagogy to enhance the learning process. We would implement the use of interactive White Board tools and apps for iPads for lesson presentation and assessment. We would also have students create and teach lessons using the interactive, mobile technology.
Our goal would be to start with a minimum of three lessons and a student-constructed lesson in the first year of the grant and to add on more lessons and student produced activities in subsequent years. In Year 2, we would like to start curating and sharing information on helpful resources digitally through a website or blog for teachers working with all level, elementary, and secondary K-12 students.
We have already been partnering with Denison ISD who uses the Epson system. They have agreed to open their trainings to our faculty if desired and to share their knowledge of how their teachers are integrating these technologies to better engage and support their students. The Mellon grant would allow us to strengthen this partnership by better preparing our teachers to enter the classrooms such as those in Denison ISD and other neighboring districts.
- Year 1: Minimum of three interactive lessons and one student-created interactive lesson/activity.
- Year 2: Increase number of lessons and perhaps add one more student directed activity if appropriate. Curate and share helpful resources for K-12 educators through a blog or website.
- Progress and next steps for later years of the grant will be determined by our own learning curves, the access to needed support and training, and formative assessment on the effectiveness of the interactive lessons.