Lakewood High School and Harding Middle School each recently were awarded the coveted eTech Ohio grants that will give each school $225,000 over the next two years to help build technology-rich learning environments. The Ohio Department of Education American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Title II-D Round 2 Competitive Grantsgo toward teams at each building that will work over the next two school years implementing new technology into the learning process. The first year will focus on building a professional development plan and the second year of the grant is for student implementation.
“This grant dramatically increases the ability of LHS teachers to incorporate 21st century instructional techniques and provide real-life learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Bill Wagner, principal at LHS. “The teachers involved will be able to share what they learn with their colleagues so the entire school can benefit.”
Added Harding principal Keith Ahearn: “We are very excited to integrate 21st Century skills into the curriculum using best practices in the use of technology in education. It is crucial that our students become literate in the effective use of technology and information.”
Through sustained, collaborative, job-embedded professional development and the use of research-based methods, the school teams from each awarded building will experience new models and strategies for teaching and learning. Teachers will become facilitators and co-learners and create technology-enabled learning environments in which students will meet or exceed the state academic content standards and develop 21st century skills.
The schools will look to engage the students more with the technology that surrounds them everyday and to grow their technological competence and sophistication by using more web-based multi-media content and formats such as I-Tunes University, wikis and blogs. The open source course management program MOODLE will be a large component of the program. Currently, the high school has a pilot program for the use of MOODLE, which allows for secure online interaction between students and teachers. Part of the Harding team’s goal is to introduce MOODLE to the middle school classrooms with the mentoring help of the LHS team.
Lakewood High School’s team consists of Andre Bruwer, Ken Kozar, Karen Wheeler, Sean Wheeler, Lisa Wiegand and principal Bill Wagner. Harding Middle School’s team members are Alex Cammock, Katie Gerard, Lisa Hoy, Ann Pesta, Amy Miller and principal Keith Ahearn.
Team members have already begun taking an 10-week online course about 21st century technology tools and will be working throughout the summer, including some daylong seminars, to be ready to hit the ground running once school resumes in August.
The money for the grants comes from $650 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for Education Technology state grants. Ohio received approximately $23 million under these ARRA Title II-D grants. These latest round of grants amounted to about $10.4 million awarded to 38 districts across the state.