The New Richmond Exempted Village School District not only has given its teaching staff the technology equipment needed in the modern classroom, but has also provided specialists needed to help them integrate technology into the daily curriculum.
"The movement toward providing tech integration came from our Strategic Planning,” explained Supt. Adam Bird. “One of our objectives was to provide technology applications to reinforce and develop higher levels of learning.”
New Richmond’s Strategic Planning initiative calls for technology integration to meet goals of: Engage students and create active learners; encourage individual learning and growth; facilitate peer collaboration; create more engaged and successful teachers; and create equity in technology for disadvantage students who may be behind their peers in skills and experience in using devices at home.
Locust Corner Technology Integration specialist Jackie Heinzelmann (left) works with teachers Susan Stoffel (middle) and Kelly Schmittou during a morning planning session.
“So far, it has been very successful but we will continue to evaluate through the end of the school year," said Bird, whose goal is to fully utilize the nearly 1-to-1 ratio of Chromebooks and iPads to students within the district.
Tech integration specialists helping NREVSD teachers make the most of technology are Jennifer Mills at Monroe Elementary, Jackie Heinzelmann at Locust Corner Elementary, Alan Lindner at New Richmond Elementary and Steve Wolf at New Richmond Middle School.
Even school board president Kristin Bennett is part of the effort to enhance the learning experience with education apps.
“The largest part of my job is the ability to work in the classroom with many of our teachers, to co-teach lessons on how to use the different technologies that will benefit the students and help create 21st century learners,” said Heinzelmann, who is in her first year with NREVSD. “Over the school year we have worked on understanding the productivity free tools that Google provides (Google Apps for Education). We have also focused heavily on our new online curriculum components, Science Fusion through ThinkCentral and TCI, our Social Studies online curriculum.”
Monroe Elementary Technology Integration specialist Jennifer Mills helps Monroe visual arts teacher Alicia Dodson integrate the Augmented Reality (AR) app Quiver into her art lessons.
Mills is in her eighth year at Monroe Elementary having previously worked in higher education for seven years with experience in integrating computers into the curriculum and helping with the training of faculty and students on specialized software programs.
In addition to providing classroom support with use of technology like Chromebooks, iPads, and SMART Boards at Monroe, Mills is available to consult with teachers on how to integrate technology into their lesson plans and does team teaching with classroom teachers when needed.
“I teach the technology component of the lesson while the teacher teaches the core content of the lesson,” said Mills, who recently helped Monroe visual arts teacher Alicia Dodson integrate the Augmented Reality (AR) app Quiver into her art lessons. School Board president Bennett discovered the Quiver app at the Ohio School Board Association’s Capital Conference session called "Technology alive- magic in the classroom.”
“This new technology blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see,” said Mills. “Using the AR app with the iPad's camera it matches the marker (coloring page) to 3D graphics/video file in the app. So, when students use the app with the marker, they are able to see their coloring sheet "come to life."
New Richmond Elementary Technology Integration specialist Alan Lindner trains students in the use of Google Apps for Education.
Lindner is in his second year at New Richmond Elementary School, first year as the Technology Integration Specialist.
“Technology has the potential to bring many new possibilities to students by providing them new ways to engage in their learning,” said Lindner. “I believe technology is part of the learning solution, whether it’s using tools to solve math problems, to access information, or to promote literacy and communication skills.”
Lindner goes into the classrooms to teach the technology portion of the curriculum, including the use of Google Apps for Education to NRE students.
“Hopefully by explaining the benefits of application, students will understand how time-management and organization can work in their favor, and that apps to provide these skills are at their fingertips,” said Lindner.
Steve Wolf, Technology Integration specialist at New Richmond Middle School, gets
middle school teachers ready for AIR testing.
Steve Wolf, who does double duty as tech support at the high school, supports tech integration at New Richmond Middle School and holds weekly tech sessions for the whole staff on Fridays and department specific sessions on Wednesdays. The Friday sessions are broader based introductions to an app specific topic and the Wednesday sessions focus on implementing these ideas into lesson plans.
“Our goal isn't just to use the technology because it's there, but to use it as tool that allows the students to dig deeper and learn more about the curriculum,” said Wolf. “Being a 1:1 building has allowed the staff to create lesson plans without wondering if there will be devices available.”