Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
EdTech

How AAE Grants Can Bring Technology to Your Classroom

How AAE Grants Can Bring Technology to Your Classroom

By Conner Dunleavy

Teachers are using cutting-edge technology in the classroom more than ever before to leverage student potential in STEM subjects. Take Cassi Clausen of L.A.’s Open School for example:

Ms. Clausen has been hosting a classroom version of what she likes to call “Junkyard Wars.” With this project, students use “junk,” such as old electronics, batteries, wood and other materials, to express their imaginative and creative abilities.

Blog ad_June_darker lexile_cropped

With these materials they build machines that perform interesting tasks, like opening and closing doors, collecting water, and turning lights on and off—all of this using discarded items!

Through this project, Ms. Clausen’s class of thirty high school students are able to learn basic concepts in physics, mathematics, and engineering, all of which are important STEM skills that many students find challenging.

More: Why Teachers Can No Longer Ignore STEM Skills

Ms. Clausen said the project, funded by a grant from the Association of American Educators (AAE) Foundation, gave her students a chance to “tinker” and “grow.”

“Kids are more capable than they know. The freedom to fail is essential and it can be done bigger and bolder. Students need time to explore and craft so as to create an atmosphere of curiosity, self-control, persistence, leadership, and creativity!” Clausen said.

Innovation in the classroom is one of the most important factors in a child’s educational potential, whether it’s STEM-based or not, and it’s up to teachers to engage students in creative ways, thereby changing the way they learn.


How can you innovate? Technology tools, even the most basic items, such as a cell phone, can inspire students to learn in new and exciting ways. Some innovative ideas to try in your classroom include:

Apply for an AAE grant or scholarship here: teacher scholarships and classroom grants

Mystery Skype

“Masked as a game, students will leap at the opportunity to work with classrooms around the world. However, as their language arts teacher, I know I’m also teaching them—and applying in context—lifelong learning skills that will prepare them for the real world.

My students will be able to use different styles of resources effectively, hold conversations, and think critically without extensive preparation. As if I (Or any other teacher!) needed any more convincing, my students are also exposing themselves to other classrooms and cultures around the world.”

Learn more

Mind Maps

“Mind mapping enhances memory by utilizing a number of mental triggers such as colors, images and a two-dimensional structure. Because mind maps encourage the use of single keywords instead of whole sentences, students are able to review core concepts and ideas at a glance.”

Learn more

“Kids are more capable than they know. The freedom to fail is essential and it can be done bigger and bolder. Students need time to explore and craft so as to create an atmosphere of curiosity, self-control, persistence, leadership, and creativity!”

Creative Writing Apps

“In Texas, as in many other states, 4th grade is considered The Big Writing Year. We have our state test that requires students to write on two consecutive days for 4 hours each.

They are expected to write up to 27 lines of a personal narrative one day, and 27 lines in expository form the other. The prompts are given to them, all of which are realistic, no fantasy, or magic.

Guess what most of my kids love writing about on a daily basis: fantasy and magic, using their creativity and imagination.”

Learn more

Whooo’s Reading

“In my class, students are required to read for 20 minutes each day as a part of their daily homework. Whooo’s Reading makes it easy for me to check on each students’ progress, gather informal data on their written responses to text, and give them constructive feedback to help them improve.

If students don’t have access to the internet and/or computers at home, I give them time in the morning to log-on to the Learn2Earn account and update their reading log. Students love logging their reading because then they earn wisdom points they can use to update their owlvatar and they can even compete with their other classmates.”

Learn more


Get inspired to bring innovation into your classroom with another story from the AAE Foundation.

Ms. Claire, from Small of Springdale High School in Arkansas, was also awarded a grant by the AAE Foundation to purchase a VEX Classroom and Competition Mechatronics Kit.

Not only does the kit enable her students to form a VEX robot competition team, it also provides hands on experiences with skills needed for STEM-based careers.

“The benefit of making these changes…is seen in the faces of children as they recognize the ‘eureka’ moment, knowing they have not only grasped a difficult concept, but had fun doing so.”

Supporting educators with our scholarship and grant program is a top goal of the Association of American Educators, the nation’s largest national non-union teachers’ association. It’s through innovations like these that teachers are able to make a difference in students’ lives.

The benefit of making these changes, and bringing innovation into the classroom, is seen in the faces of children as they recognize the ‘eureka’ moment, knowing they have not only grasped a difficult concept, but had fun doing so.

Innovation in the classroom fosters innovation in the minds of students. Educators like Ms. Small and Ms. Clausen are leading the charge, and this domino effect can lead to great things for our future and the future of our children.

The Association of Americans Educators (AAE) provides thousands of dollars every year in the form of teacher scholarships and classroom grants. These scholarship and grant competitions are held twice a year in the fall and spring and open to all educators. The deadline for the fall competition is October 1 and the deadline for the spring competition is March 1, 2015.

bottom page banner_Lexile_June

 


 

WRforSchools
Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EdTech

More in EdTech

Setting & Keeping Personal Boundaries in 2020

Katherine RundellSeptember 6, 2020

Remote Learning Tips For All

Emily BurtonJune 21, 2020

10 Budget-friendly Ways to Transform Your Classroom Into a Digital Learning Playground

Gary StevensApril 29, 2020

2020 Digital Transformation Trends in Education

Robert JordanDecember 15, 2019

6 Online Digital Tools to Help Your Students with Writing

Ashley HalseyOctober 13, 2019

Artificial intelligence in the classroom

Aditya SAugust 21, 2019
//my.hellobar.com/76306af5d11d7bc8172d35d5c9feeba0ca11766c.js
More in EdTech
summer learning
9 Ways to Boost Summer Learning With Technology

By Latoya James Before you start daydreaming about long walks on the beach or reading poolside, remember that learning shouldn’t...

Close