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4th Grade Louisiana Math Teacher Wins $15,000 Tablet Prize for School

An elementary school in Louisiana will be receiving $15,000 worth of tablets in a competition sponsored by 3M and fulfilled by Digital Wish. Central Park Elementary School in Bossier City took the prize after a fourth grade math teacher there submitted the winning essay on how the new devices would change the school for the better.

"As a fourth grade math teacher, I understand the future demand for students to be technologically literate. I also understand that most students are surrounded by technology on a daily basis. Our 96 percent free and reduced lunch population does not have the ready access to every day technology as much as other schools in our parish," wrote winner Vanessa Powers in her essay. "Receiving tablets in our school would open up many doors for our students. They would be able to have fingertip access to learning activities and learn to research for project based learning. The tablets would be used in our second annual after school micro-society project in which students learn by doing. This style of learning allows for differentiation that meets the needs of the struggling child, while challenging the advanced student."

Among the projects Powers anticipates students being able to undertake with the new tablets:

  • Creating and designing a zoo to learn perimeter and area;
  • Creating a budget to establish a business venture in economics; and
  • Writing their own musical scores to learn unit rate in mathematics.

"Receiving these new tablets for our school will assist us in creating authentic learning opportunities that will provide exponential growth for our students," she added.

The contest is part of a "Screens for Schools" grant program. 3M makes screen protectors that help users maintain privacy as they work on their computers. Digital Wish is a non-profit that helps schools acquire technology. The tablets will be chosen from the inventory sold by Digital Wish.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.