As I nervously waited to go onto the KySTE stage to accept the award for Rowan County Senior High School I not only reflected upon another inspiring KySTE conference experience, I also acknowledged the impact Eastern Kentucky University’s Library Science program has had on my technological skills the past few years. Upon entering the masters program I had no idea how much I would learn about the importance of using 21st Century tools to teach our youth. This class library 863 is another example of how students are pushed to create products that are relevant to library advocacy and student achievement.
Because of these classroom challenges I am striving to be a technology leader in my district and hope to make a positive impact on student success. Because of this goal I was innately pulled to apply for KySTE’s Outreach Grant.
At the beginning of the school year I approached the vice principal Brandy Carver and school technology leader Andrew Conyers to discuss student needs. I was already aware students needed more computer workstations and was motivated to provide more devices for the school. As I began researching the focus and the desired student outcomes of the grant I discovered Project Based Learning PBL and the strong connections it had to Program Review. I was inspired by teacher and student testimony from a school in California called High Tech High. I knew that PBL was the answer and I needed to see if the faculty would be willing to try a project.
One evening in November a group of high school teachers and I conferenced online using Lync the state adopted conferencing tool and Linoit a real time post-it note application. For many of the teachers this was the first time they have ever participated in an online conference and several went back to their classrooms and used Linoit that very same week. As you see below they walked away inspired and I had an idea what their passions were and what the focus of the grant should be.
After lots of thinking and a few more conferences I began writing the grant the afternoon of December 29th and researched and composed pretty much non- stop until the moment I submitted the grant proposal. Hitting the send button December 31st minutes before the deadline of midnight. To tell you the truth, I didn’t have to wait until the ball dropped to know I would get the grant. I had a gut feeling it was a winning proposal all along. I had researched, brainstormed with the stakeholders, and I knew the technology and applications to make PBL work for our school. This proposal was going to stand out.
So what is the focus of the winning proposal?