The Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County:
IDOE eLearning Innovation Grant Recipients
The eLearning Classroom Innovation Grant was awarded to the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County from the Indiana Department of Education. During the 2012-2013 school year, this grant has given our district an opportunity to deploy a 1:1 initiative in both our middle school and high school. This initiative has allowed us to issue individual MacBooks or MacBooks Airs to all students in grades 7 through 12. This award has positively altered how teachers instruct their students as well as when and how students learn.
Through the Indiana Department of Education’s monetary support, we have been able to maximize learning by adopting an anytime anywhere blended learning environment. In our newly adopted 1:1 initiative, our students are able to use their laptops throughout the school day and are able to transport them home. Being able to use this technology both at home and at school has given students admittance into online classroom learning management systems, accessibility to ongoing projects outside of the school day, and it has provided them with new ways to work and collaborate with others. Through the use of software such as iMovie, Apple’s iWork office suite, and other software applications as well as web 2.0 tools, students have new, exciting ways to be engaged with the content of the curriculum. Blended learning in a 1:1 environment has truly provided our 21st century learners with an engaging, fulfilling way to develop not only academic skills, but social, ethical, and college readiness skills using a variety of software applications, teacher created materials, and web 2.0 resources.
Providing resources for teachers has been an integral part of our plan to roll out the 1:1 initiative during the 2012-2013 school year. The eLearning grant has provided our staff with numerous professional development opportunities that were designed to prepare teachers for our technology roll out. During the summer of 2012, Apple offered our teachers training on how to navigate Microsoft’s newest operating system that was installed on all machines. Weekly technology trainings are also held at the middle school and at the high school levels. These trainings provide teachers with new insights as to how to use these new devices as effective teaching and learning tools in the classroom. Weekly teacher trainings instructed by the Technology Integration Specialist, Amanda Hoagland, which is also funded by the Indiana Department of Education Innovation Grant, has helped educators to gather resources and to discover valuable information-age teaching strategies.