PHOENIX, Mar. 11, 2008 – The Qwest Foundation and the Arizona Technology in Education Alliance (AzTEA) today announced the second wave of teachers to be awarded grants in the Foundation’s $100,000 Teachers and Technology program. Teachers are awarded grants for innovative use of technology in the classroom. The grants, which range in amounts from $2,500 to nearly $10,000, were awarded to eight educators in five different Arizona counties.
“Qwest is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where customers live and work, and we are proud to invest in Arizona teachers and children,” said Pat Quinn, Qwest president for Arizona. “We’re excited at the depth and creativity displayed in this second group of grant submissions.”
The purpose of the Qwest Foundation grant program is to recognize Arizona K-12 public school teachers who are using technology in the classroom in new and innovative ways to: Improve student performance; increase an awareness of how teachers are using technology in the classroom; and, model best practices with technology integration improving student achievement.
Funds are awarded twice a year with the current grants announced at Arizona State University in Tempe during the "Microcomputers in Education Conference” on Mar. 11, 2008. More information on the program and the entire list of winners is available on AzTEA’s Web site at www.aztea.org.
“Judging the entries is both frustrating and invigorating,” said AzTEA president, Chris Johnson. “Frustrating in that it’s very difficult to choose one great idea over another which is equally as creative. However the invigoration comes from knowing our children will be inspired by the creativity of some very gifted Arizona educators.”
2008 2nd Round Qwest Recipients
Names: Linda Schallan
District: Scottsdale Unified School District
School: Desert Mountain High School
Project Name: Classrooms Without Borders: Using Learning 2.0 Tools to Promote Global Dialogue
Project Description: Spanish students at Desert Mountain will increase their fluency in Spanish and expand their global awareness by partnering with students studying English in Chile. Students in both countries with use Learning 2.0 technologies such as VoIP(Voice over Internet Protocol) communication, screen casting, pod casting, blogging, wikis, etc- to help students in both schools significantly increase their abilities to converse, interpret, read, and write in a foreign language and to develop an appreciation and understanding of the culture of the foreign country. Students will blog after reading Chile’s national newspaper, La Tercera, and the Scottsdale/East Valley Tribune.
Names: Linda Stamer
District: Flagstaff Unified School District
School: Charles W. Sechrist Elementary School
Project Name: Interactive Assessment of Band Students in the Digital Age
Project Description: The iPAS (Interactive Practice and Assessment System) provides immediate feedback to band students by evaluating their at-home practice session using the following set of criteria: note correctness, rhythmic accuracy, pitch accuracy and note duration. Before this software was available-there was no way to provide immediate feedback for band students practicing at home unless a parent or sibling was an instrumentalist.
Names: Jan Budak and Katie Felix-Eddelman
District: Tucson Unified School District
School: Brichta Elementary School
Project Name: Learning in the 21st Century
Project Description: 5th grade students will conduct online and face to face research to see how technology is used to facilitate learning. They will analyze this information to create a two to five minute documentary which explains their project, the results and what these will mean to them. Students and teachers will spend time with local television news reporters learning about investigative reporting and the production of a documentary.
Names: Theodor V. Jordan
District: Casa Grande Union High School District
School: Casa Grande Union School #82
Project Name: Biotechnology, DNA and You.
Project Description: Making students aware of the applications of biotechnology as it relates to themselves and the structure and function of DNA. Students will use a cheek cell extraction kit to extract DNA from their own cheek cells, prepare the DNA and use it for a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). Students will then compare DNS fingerprint and discuss population genetic variability. This will provide insights to student learning and higher order of thinking which is typically done in a university setting.
Names: Crystal Ray and Jessica Sargent
District: Flagstaff Unified School District
School: Coconino High School
Project Name: Promoting Student Engagement via Technology
Project Description: Trying to increase attendance rates and student engagement among English Language Learners, Special Education students, and Native American students. The hope is that by using the multi-media carts known as CSR’s, (Classroom Response Systems), the classroom will become a student-centered environment and our target group of learners will be afforded the same learning opportunities as their more outspoken peers. Many of these students have limited access to technology outside of the regular school day.
Names: Darlene Price
District: Cave Creek Unified School District
School: Horseshoe Trails Elementary School
Project Name: ipods for Reading and Writing Excellence
Project Description: Using ipods to increase reading proficiency and enjoyment with students. Students at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School will use the ipod, digital media, and podcasting technology to assist teachers and students to achieve the school-wide goal of improving student reading and writing performance.
It is naturally engaging to students and provides students with a new type of medium to access information and create content. For the students checking out the ipods for reading interventions as per the Response to Intervention model and for students doing research, engaging in reading practice or reading for pleasure, they too are able to access a wealth of information and store it on the device for repetition and review from anywhere. This project is an extension of the current ipod initiatives occurring in the district and would create greater accessibility to the ipod devices for classroom and individual student use.
Names: Jennifer Hunt
District: Tanque Verde Unified School District
School: Emily Gray Junior High
Project Name: Wanda’s Wicked Worldwide Wiki Workplace
Project Description: Students have established Literature Circles to foster a love of reading, but also to share responses to that literature with others. Now they can add an additional technological element by allowing them to create Wiki spaces to organize and present their responses to various reading assignments. Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Technology tools will enhance learning, increase productivity and creativity, and to construct technology-enhanced models, prepare publications and produce other creative works.
Names: Steven Stanfield
District: Cedar Unified School District
School: Jeddito Public School
Project Name: Native Language
Project Description: I propose to have my eighth grade language arts/computer students prepare interview questions, talk with and record their grandparents and other elders in their community about stories, their memories, and impressions of the future of the Navajo or Hopi culture. Using their storyboards, audio and video clips, and appropriate technology the students will then create podcasts/vodcasts of their interviews to be shared locally and globally via iTunes. The geographic and political difficulties associated with our unique situation causes some technology infrastructure difficulties: we have extremely limited bandwidth. Still it is necessary for these students to learn and use technology. The beauty of pod casting is that it is high-tech with real world audience and application, while being lo-tech enough to not over-tax our system.
Qwest offers a powerful combination of award-winning broadband, video and voice solutions for residential customers, businesses and government agencies. Customers coast to coast turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber optic network to meet their evolving communications and entertainment needs. Qwest employees are the driving force behind the company’s nationally recognized Spirit of Service. Qwest is a participant in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, to provide innovative voice, data and video services. For more information on Qwest please visit www.qwest.com. For information about the products and services Qwest is offering in the Networx contract, visit www.gsanetworx.com
About the Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.
The marks that comprise the Qwest logo are registered trademarks of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.