by Tori Hamby

As in any profession, certain technological innovations can alter – and revolutionize – the ways in which professionals do their jobs.

For educators, the changes have come in a big way.

Some innovations have given students broader access to information while others have made learning an interactive, rather than passive, experience. Other forms of technology, such as electronic grade books, can decrease a teacher’s workload, leaving more time for classroom instruction.

Here, teachers from Mountain Island area schools tell us about they’ve used technological innovations to transform the way they teach.

1. Lincoln Charter School

Lincoln Charter School’s high school 1:1 program allows each and every student to have one-on-one access to a laptop computer at all times. Which means students without home computers don’t have to worry when it comes to completing assignments that require computer access.

“Each of our high school students receive a laptop for use during the school year. This program allows our teachers to have teaching tools they would not have otherwise, our students to all utilize the same technology – regardless of (background or environment) and positively affects attendance, achievement and engagement.”

– Jonathan Bryant, assistant chief


2. Torrence Creek Elementary

“I’ve seen a great transformation here at Torrence Creek Elementary since the school opened in 2005. Many of our students came in with limited use of their home desktop computers and teachers were relegated to using overhead projectors. Overheads have been replaced with LCD projectors, document cameras and Averkeys (a device that connects a computer to a television screen) and students have become more tech savvy through the use of our SmartBoards and iPads. Most are born with a technology device in their hands.”

– Joyce Mutter, technology educator

“Mobile technology is presently having the greatest impact on education and the sum of that impact is still being written. Mobile technology not only is moving learning out of the classroom; it’s flipping the classroom, going paperless, keeping students connected with students and teachers, and opening paths for creation and collaboration across distances.”

– Trish Cloud, technology educator

3. J.V. Washam Elementary

“I don’t believe that one technology in and of itself has made the biggest impact. To me, any technology (iPads, computers, etc.) that allows students to think deeper, create and collaborate is essential to preparing our students for lifelong learning.”

– Raymond Giovanelli, principal

4. Mountain Island Charter School

“An LCD projector works wonders for those visual learners. It allows me to project so much: read-alouds, Youtube videos, Google Earth – who needs a map anymore? – Google Images, math manipulatives …  It really comes in handy when students need clarification.”

– Casey Lockler, teacher

“Having my own overhead projector has allowed me to utilize educational websites, like Discovery Education or electronic books to share with the class.”

– Sha Bolling, teacher

“I use an electric keyboard to play and also to amplify sound, my iPhone 4S as an MP3 player, a laptop to pull up music videos and Google images so students can learn more and quickly … I love how using technology allows me to teach students visually, as well as aurally, and with a keyboard – kinesthetically.”

– Jennie Gonzalez, music teacher