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Education Open House Highlights eTech Grant Projects

On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, Hiram students and their cooperating teachers hosted an open house to showcase their work integrating technology into the curriculum in PreK-Grade 2. Hiram Early Childhood candidates created projects which documented primary student learning through student interviews, research projects, hands-on lessons using iPads, iTouch, various apps and cloud-based applications.

As part of a $100,000 eTech Teacher Planning Grant, the Hiram Education Department (Methods students only) worked collaboratively with Crestwood Pirmary (Spring Early Childhood clinical); they are two of four partners in the grant. Early childhood teacher candidates enrolled in Roxanne Sorrick’s Math and Science Investigations and Matt Sorrick’s Early Childhood Science Methods classes comprised the Hiram partner, and worked since January with their Crestwood Primary School partner.

The Early Childhood program at Hiram College has benefited greatly from the collaboration with Crestwood Primary in many ways, but especially in terms of modeling developmentally appropriate science education and use of technology. This year, Matt Sorrick’s Early Childhood Science Methods class has been fully embedded at Crestwood Primary. Hiram students are designing and teaching science lessons on content requested by Crestwood teachers.

Crestwood Primary offers an exceptional environment for technology integration as almost all classrooms at Crestwood Primary have interactive whiteboards. Teachers create digital movies for content and for classroom/behavior management. Classrooms Skype other schools, hang motion-sensor cameras outside to detect wildlife, use digital microscopes and sound recorders and much more. Primary level children are creating and sharing with classmates their own Power Point presentations. In addition, this year Natalie Harr (Grade 1 teacher) was selected to be the 2011-2012 Antarctica Teacher in Residence. Students were able to communicate with Miss Harr while she was in Antarctica through a blog and Skype sessions.

The Continuous Improvement Plan Crestwood Primary adopted in 2008 supports and integrates the technology. This plan specifically states the goal, “Improve the coordination sequencing of technology instruction and improve access to instructional hardware and software in the classroom,” specifying emphases on early exposure to technology in the elementary grades and staff development in the application of technologies for teaching and learning.

“We are very lucky to have such a collaborative and reciprocal partnership with Crestwood Primary,” said Roxanne Sorrick, Hiram College associate professor of education and Co-PI of the eTech Grant. “Hiram Early Childhood teacher candidates continue to benefit from the outstanding teachers and administration at Crestwood Primary both as models of best practice in teaching and student learning, but also as examples of developmentally appropriate technology integration.”

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