School of Education receives $75,000 technology grant
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Education, in partnership with the Mineral Point School District, recently received a nearly $75,000 grant from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative that will provide interactive technology to enhance the training of teacher education students. The technology will include whiteboards, mobile devices, remote access endpoints and other technological equipment.
The Wisconsin Technology Initiative provides grants to K-12 and other educational facilities that are committed to effectively integrating instructional technology into their learning environments. According to WTI, “Through the increased availability of interactive whiteboards and technologically savvy teachers, classrooms will have the tools necessary to become engines of innovation that improve student engagement and academic achievement.”
The grant will build on existing collaboration with area PreK-12 school districts while establishing additional programs that address the combined needs of the UW-Platteville School of Education and PreK-12 school districts in the region.
“The WTI grant is the beginning of an exciting change to instruction, both for our students and for students in the Driftless Region,” said Dr. Elizabeth A. Throop, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville. “The capability to provide education at a distance, which this grant allows us to do, brings our terrific Teacher Education program, as well as other academic programs, well into the 21st century. We have a potential, as well, to partner with area high schools. Most interestingly, this grant creates some fascinating alternatives for observing student teaching while also helping our teacher education students learn how to incorporate the latest technology into their classrooms and their teaching portfolios. We plan on expanding access to this cutting-edge technology as much as we can.”
Mineral Point School District and the UW-Platteville School of Education have a long-standing partnership that was expanded several years ago with the addition of a mini Professional Development School at the elementary school. The partnership enables PreK-12 students and teachers at Mineral Point schools to have the additional resources of teacher education candidates in the classroom and enables UW-Platteville students to engage in the high impact practice of teaching and interacting in a school. Teacher education students work with elementary students on site in Mineral Point in the morning and take classes on campus in the afternoon.
The new technology will enable faculty to schedule and observe teacher education students teaching lessons and working with small groups in the Mineral Point schools, which will complement on-site visits already being done by faculty in the Mineral Point schools. The new technology also will allow faculty to schedule and provide observation opportunities for other teacher education students.
“This new technology will greatly enhance the training of teacher candidates and help prepare them for their future careers,” said Dr. Karen Stinson, director of the School of Education at UW-Platteville. “It will enable them to learn, observe and practice engaging and innovative classroom instructional methods for PreK-12 students.”
Teacher candidates will use the interactive whiteboards to develop lessons for PreK-12 students and differentiate instruction to overcome barriers and gaps. They will also use the whiteboards to present lessons in micro-teaching and create multimedia projects that include video and audio.
The remote access endpoints will provide three-way interaction between student teachers, cooperating teachers and teacher candidates so they can learn and share technology best practices with PreK-12 partner schools. The remote access endpoints will also give students who are enrolled in education courses the opportunity to “visit” and communicate with teachers and students in diverse classrooms throughout Wisconsin and the United States. In addition, university faculty and clinical supervisors will use the technology to observe classrooms and provide students with feedback on their performance in placements in area PreK-12 schools.
Faculty and staff in UW-Platteville’s School of Education will be trained on the new technology in July and August.
On July 7, Tyler Ronsman, systems engineer at Netech Corporation in Middleton, Wis., trained 15 UW-Platteville School of Education faculty and staff on the use of a portable videoconferencing system.
In April, grant recipients must provide an annual report and share best practices with their peers across the state.
Contact: Dr. Karen Stinson, School of Education, (608) 342-1131, firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, email@example.com