Two area educators are taking their knack for technology and trying to win some grant money for their schools.
Shields Elementary School Principal Jenny Nauman and Indian River School District Technology Systems Manager Patches Hill are two of 15 finalists competing for an iEducate Delaware initiative. An advisory group recommendation coupled with public voting will determine up to five winners, said Matthew Korobkin, a senior program officer with sponsor Rodel Foundation. Winners will each receive a $2,000 grant toward an education-related program.
Finalists were chosen for taking risks and making innovative, positive changes in the classroom, Korobkin said.
Nauman said she knew nothing about the program before hearing Cape Henlopen Instructional Technology Specialist Lori Roe had nominated her.
“I was honored and excited to hear I was nominated,” Nauman said. “It is a great way to showcase all the nice things we're doing at Shields.”
Nauman said she is focused on bringing 21st century technology to the classroom. In particular, she said, every Shields Elementary teacher has an iPad, and two carts of 10 iPads are available for students to use during class projects.
Last year, Nauman said students made videos and used the iPads for classroom presentations.
“Our goal is to acquire more iPads for the classrooms,” she said.
Indian River's Hill has a similar quest.
“Although not everyone can be directly involved in a classroom, all roles are important, and it takes various levels and informal networks to make a very complex system of education work,” he said.
Over the past four years, Hill said the district has worked to provide the latest technology to students during school, such as wireless Internet access in all school buildings. The district, however, has made these improvements while recognizing many students have limited technology resources at home, he said.
“Everyone can't afford the latest and greatest iPad with 50MB download speeds at home, and we have to build a total solution for our students that is respectful of this.”
Allowing access from a library or a cell phone at night ensures all Indian River students can receive information when away from the classroom, he said.
Voting for the 15 finalists will close Sept. 9. Anyone is allowed to vote once a day for up to three finalists, Korobkin said.
To vote for the finalists, go to www.ieducatedelaware.org.