CDW Canada, a provider of technology solutions for Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors, today announced the winners of its third annual Teaching with Technology™ Story and Sweepstakes Contest.
This year’s grand prize winner of the Story Contest is a teacher from Campbell River, and the two runner-up winners are teachers from Richmond Hill and Barrie. All three were chosen by a panel of judges to receive grand prize technology packages. Ten sweepstakes winners (five educators and five IT professionals) were picked by a random draw to win various technology prizes. Finally, one winner was selected to win a prize bundle in the Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest. Introduced last year, this contest challenged educators to tweet their submissions in no more than140 characters.
“Educators across Canada are so passionate about their jobs and have really taken the time to implement great technology-based learning strategies,” says Mary Ann Yule, Vice President and General Manager, CDW Canada. “This year’s submissions are true testaments to that passion and to the dedication they have — engaging the future generations with inspired creativity and IT. Through these stories and by speaking with our customers, we know the significant impact technology can have on a student. We hope to inspire Canadian educators to go above and beyond in teaching with technology,”
Educators from across Canada were asked to write about how technology has improved or enhanced the learning experience in their classrooms. CDW Canada’s panel of IT experts reviewed the 200-500 word entries and selected three winners. Each prize bundle – ranging in value from approximately $5,000 to $6,000 – contains technology products that are useful in the classroom, such as projectors, personal computers, whiteboards, digital cameras, and networking software and equipment. The prizes will allow the winning schools and teachers to continue to make a difference in the classroom.
Winner #1: Southgate Middle School in Campbell River, B.C. – Robynne Fraser, special education teacher
Robynne submitted a story about how the use of technology in the classroom has had a drastic impact on students, including a teenage girl with select mutism who was able to speak for the first time; autistic students who learned how to make eye contact with the use of a digital camera; and children — not expected to be literate — who learned to read.
Robynne writes, “Technology is the great equalizer and allows students to learn and be an active part of society and in some cases, gives them literally a voice. I am surprised by the transformation of my students because of technology. I have become a believer in the miracle of technology.”
Winner #2: Redstone Public School in Richmond Hill, Ont. – Stephanie Ratti, teacher
With the help of technology, Stephanie created “a paperless classroom” in an institution known for paper consumption. Stephanie tells her story from the perspective of her students. They no longer have to hide their cell phones and iPods, but can instead use them to enhance their everyday learning. Students use technology in Stephanie’s classroom to do research, complete interactive surveys, post creative writing pieces on the web and access textbooks online.
From the perspective of one of her students, Stephanie writes, “When we use the same technology for both playing and learning, it makes the hard work of reaching our educational goals much more fun. Sometimes we are having so much fun, we don’t even realize we are learning! Our paperless classroom is 21St century learning!”
Winner #3: Willow Landing Elementary School in Barrie, Ont. – Leyla Potts-Fay, teacher
Leyla discussed the difficulty of keeping her students’ attention towards the end of the school year and how she used technology to keep them engaged and excited about learning. Leyla combined technology with such topics as the conflicts in Rwanda and Darfur, as well as the apartheid in South Africa. Students used a smartboard for reading activities, created online blogs with pictures and used PowerPoint presentations to communicate their reactions and studies on these issues.
Leyla writes, “Introducing interesting units with a technology connection made a huge difference for the end of the year. The students were excited to come to school, participated in mature conversations and were engaged in their learning. Technology has been, and will continue to be, a key component in my teaching. There is an entry point for every age. It makes learning exciting, creative and engaged!”
Tweet UR Tech Tale Winner
“The use of social media in the Canadian education space is gaining in popularity,” says Yule. “Last year we introduced the Twitter component to the contest, and this year the number of entries nearly tripled. Educators are utilizing all the platforms and technology tools available to them to capture the attention of their students and make connections with them in interesting ways. Technology not only makes learning fun, but prepares students for future studies and for the world.”
In no more than 140 characters, educators from across Canada were asked to tweet about how technology has been or can be used to enhance the learning experience in the classroom for a prize bundle valued at $1,800.
Winner: Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School in Ottawa – Mike Fuchigami
Mike’s winning tweet: “Hiding ‘Easter eggs’ on class website to encourage more student use of the homework page. Find the secret phrase and win a prize. #twtcda”
Five educators and five IT professionals have won prizes with a total retail value of more than $4,500:
- Jackie Preddy, St. Walburg School in St. Walburg, Sask.
- Lorraine Luciw, École séparée Saint-Dominique in Sudbury, Ont.
- Enza Notte, Allandale Heights Public School in Barrie, Ont.
- Terri Joss, Lt. Colonel Barker V.C. School in Dauphin, Man.
- Shelley Ward, Margaret Barber Collegiate Institute in The Pas, Man.
- Sonya Reay, Avon Maitland District School Board in Clinton, Ont.
- Rod MacLeod, Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury, Ont.
- Allen Armstrong, School District 69 (Qualicum) in Parksville, B.C.
- Casey Auigbelle, Alexander First Nation School (Kipohtakaw) in Edmonton, Alta.
- Steve Lougheed, Brampton Christian School in Brampton, Ont.
With over $22,000 in total prizes, the third annual contest has received generous support from many of CDW Canada’s technology partners including premier sponsors HP and AMD; gold sponsors Epson, Lenovo and Microsoft; silver sponsors BenQ, Cables To Go, Cisco, InFocus, Kodak, Netgear, OKI Data, Polycom, PolyVision and Watchguard; and bronze sponsors Sony, Targus and Xerox.