Tim's Travels: Teaching with Technology

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Staff, students and a community have all come together for a common cause. Monroe Elementary School in Janesville is part of a nationwide competition. If they win, classrooms will never be the same.

Mrs. Richard's kindergarten class is a bright bunch. It's all thanks to quality teachers and technology like Smart Boards. It's an interactive white board that uses touch detection for user input.

The students love them, they love to get up and interact with what they are learning it makes it more exciting, they are not just sitting in their desks all day long,” said library media aide April Palmer.

Monroe has less than 10 smart boards and they're constantly rotated from room to room. The goal? To put one in every classroom.

“That has been my mission is to bring the technology to the teachers and the students because we aren't where we need to be,” said principal Lori Burns.

“I love Monroe school and I want to see them have the best of everything,” added Palmer.

She's works at the school and is the parent of a student. Last May, she heard about a competition run by U.S. Cellular dubbed “Calling all Communities”

“U.S. Cellular donates a share of 1 million dollars to 18 different schools nationwide which is huge,” said Palmer.
Students and staff at Monroe elementary and residents in the city of Janesville have been participating in an aggressive campaign to get the word out. That's because the top prize in this competition is 150 thousand dollars.

“The competition money can be used for anything that we see fit in our school and our big goal is to get the 21st century technology in every classroom,”

Second through 18th place still gets $50,000

”There are thousands of schools participating and as of the last posting last Tuesday we were in 6th place in the nation which is huge for the small town of Janesville,” said Palmer.

All summer long, they encouraged people to get out and vote.

“We talk a lot here at Monroe about doing whatever it takes, it's kind of a theme that we've had, and I truly believe that every staff member contributed in some way,”

“My heart tells me we are not out the of the running for #1!” said Burns.

Smart Boards are $4,000 a piece! They also want to buy some iPads with the money. Right now, they have 14 iPads for 360 students.

They will know on or before November 25th if they have won any money.

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