Friday, October 28, 2016

We Have a Winner! Student Summit Grant

Kern Kelley
Director of Student Agency
Author of "Google Apps Guidebook"

Want to apply for your very own Student Summit Grant? We will be taking applications for the next Student Summit Grant in January! Find out how HERE!

Student Summits are immersive educational events for and with students of all ages. During a Summit, students work with world class educators learning to how to utilize technology in the classroom. Scheduled for a full day or entire week, Students Summits expose students and teachers to educational technology experiences. Summits are customized to match the needs of the students. Possible strands include Google Apps for Education or STEAM focused sessions. These topics are flexible and interchanged depending on the audience. This is the second Grant giveaway Student Summit, and we've done 8 to date.

Below is an excerpt from our Student Summit Grant winner, Luann Hughes, Technology Director of Temple Independent School District and her winning entry.

Temple High School has been the pride of Temple since 1928.  The 175 classrooms at THS serve approximately 1900 students and 150 teachers. Temple High School has been an International Baccalaureate School 1992 and is currently one of 48 IB authorized high schools in Texas. In addition to a strong academic program, THS is the home for strong athletic and fine arts programs. Temple Wildcat Football has been in state playoffs for the past 2 years. The theater, band, and choir programs regularly earn both individual and department awards.

In 2014-15, Temple High School received six out of seven distinctions, ranking it 2nd out of 40 peer schools in its TEA (Texas Education Agency) comparison group, earning distinctions for achievement in math, reading, science, social studies, post-secondary readiness and top 25% for closing the achievement gap.

Temple High School is a 1:1 Chromebook campus. Students keep the same Chromebook throughout their high school career, and when they graduate they are able to take the Chromebook with them to college or work. Temple High School students have presented their technology model in many ways. Several districts have visited Temple High School to learn more about the model. Students in the STIR (Student Technology Integration and Repair) program have presented to the State of Texas Senate and House of Representative education committees, at the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) conference, for Houston ISD’s technology department, and for various local organizations and clubs.

The Impact of Technology on Teaching and Learning

Temple Independent School District’s student technology initiative is focused on using technology as a tool to facilitate higher order thinking. This no more apparent than at Temple High School. The 1:1 Chromebook to student initiative that started in 2013 has brought teaching and learning to a new level. Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, and digital resources such as Schoology and online textbooks have given students ownership over the time and space of their learning. THS teachers are exploring blended learning models such as Flipped Learning to maximize the power of the technology.

There were also some unexpected benefits. The student technology initiative has increased parent and community involvement. Many parents have attended training in order learn how to utilize the technology to help their children. Community leadership groups have asked for students for assistance in creating their websites and for guidance in developing their social media presence. The STIR (Student Technology Integration and Repair) program has empowered students to assist, train, and support other students and teachers.

This story tells it best: a senior who came by the Tech Spot, not because she needed help or a repair, but because she wanted to say how much she loved her device. She said she never thought that she would ever go to college, but, since getting the Chromebook, she had gained the confidence and skills that made her want to try.

From the WINNER:

Luann Hughes
Technology Director
Temple ISD

Temple High School is a very special place - I am a 3rd generation Wildcat and my children are both 4th generation Wildcats. As the technology director for the district, it thrills me to see how the 1:1 Chromebook initiative has changed the campus. Technology has become the tool that it should be in learning, but more importantly, it has given student ownership of their learning both in and outside of school. The Student Summit grant was a natural fit. We have a strong STIR (Student Technology Integration and Repair) program where student leaders support students and teachers with hardware, training, and applications. In addition, THS is one of 20 districts in Texas that is a part of the Raising Blended Learners pilot. This pilot has allowed us to focus on student-driven learning using technology as a catalyst.  We look forward to selecting 100 students to participate the January summit. We know that student will benefit greatly from the sessions and working with world-class trainers.

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