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Jacob Burns Film Center Receives $50,000 Grant for iPads in the Classroom

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC), a nonprofit cultural arts organization in Pleasantville, NY, has received a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. The JBFC will use the money to enhance several education programs at schools in Westchester County and the JBFC Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville by integrating iPads into the curriculum.

JBFC will purchase iPads and accessories, help fund faculty and staff salaries, and provide professional development and volunteer training. For the 2012-2013 school year, the grant will serve more than 500 students and 30 teachers in three education programs: Minds in Motion, Digital Storytelling, and Reel Change.

Minds in Motion is an interdisciplinary education program for children in fourth grade. The 12-week course gives students the opportunity to write, storyboard, direct, and produce a stop-motion animated film. At the end of the program, the students' films are presented on the big screen at the JBFC Theater in front of an audience of friends and family.

Digital Storytelling is a similar program for teens and young adults, where students create multiscreen projects, installations, video sculptures, and interactive designs.

Reel Change is a multimedia program for teens that gives them the opportunity to produce a short film that expresses a point of view about social issues.

"Giving students the tools and knowledge to communicate visually is imperative in this media-saturated culture," said Emily Keating, director of education programs for JBFC, in a prepared statement. "Access to tablets enables students to develop important technical and literacy skills in an interface that is intuitive and exciting."

According to the JBFC, its Media Arts Lab is a state-of-the-art education center and "creative and educational community for storytellers in the digital age." The center offers workshops, intensive programs, and weekend programs for children and adults, and this grant furthers its mission "to change the way teachers teach and students learn by innovatively integrating technology into the classroom to enhance student learning."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].