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Congratulations to the honorees in the latest round of DA’s Schools of TechXcellence national recognition program. Their exemplary initiatives serve as worthy models of inspiration for schools across the country. Scroll down or use the search feature to locate a December honoree by district.

June 2018

Honoree: Greeneville City Schools Category Other

Greeneville City Schools in Tennessee launched its 1-to-1 digital transformation three years ago after a community fundraising effort purchased devices for students in grades 3 through 5 at Tusculum View Elementary.

That meant administrators had to ensure teachers and students were ready to use those devices effectively, and that they had a solid grasp of standards of digital citizenship, says Principal DeAnna Martin.

Honoree: Ontario-Montclair School District Category Makerspaces

Eager to provide hands-on learning that would expand upon classroom lessons, teachers at Vineyard STEM Magnet School in Southern California developed their own makerspace.

The makerspace, located in a single classroom, features materials, activities and resources that scale for students in grades K through 8. For example, a first-grade student might participate in a STEM learning task and then do something similar in third grade with a different level of rigor.

December 2017

Honoree: Auburn School District Category Professional Development

In 2014, the community in Auburn, Washington, voted for a $22 million technology levy, a vote that increased local property taxes so the Auburn School District could provide 1-to-1 learning in grades 2 through 12. 

Chromebooks, powered by Intel Celeron processors, were deployed to classrooms over the next two years, and by January 2018, all students and teachers will have their own. 

Honoree: Escambia County School District Category Reading & Writing

Finding time to work with individual students to improve their writing skills is a challenge many English teachers face. 

The Booker T. Washington High School writing lab—the first of its kind in Florida—operates with local college students as writing tutors.

Honoree: Burlington USD #244 Category Professional Development

Educators involved implementing Burlington High School’s 1-to-1 initiative in 2013 realized the need for edtech-based PD beyond simply training teachers how to turn on devices.  

Honoree: Tacoma Public Schools Category Professional Development

Gray Middle School in Tacoma, Washington, wants teachers to master classroom technology tools that enhance students’ understanding of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. To meet that challenge, the school launched the 21st Century Professional Learning Pathways program during the 2016-17 school year. 

Honoree: Mahopac Central School District Category Professional Development

Like so many others around the country, the Mahopac Central School District in New York scheduled teacher conference days throughout the year. And, like so many others, these conferences were usually passive exercises, with teachers convening in the auditorium, surreptitiously grading papers while half-listening to a keynote speaker.

Honoree: Prince William County Schools Category Professional Development

Teachers, just like students, become more engaged when they get to shape their own learning. 

With that truth in mind, Lynmara Colon, principal of Mary Williams Elementary School in Virginia’s Prince William County Public Schools, revamped her PD program to allow teachers to direct their own development. She was inspired by the EdCamp model, where teachers select topics to study before the PD begins. 

Honoree: Mayfield City Schools Category Professional Development

When Mayfield City Schools embarked on an ambitious 1-to-1 blended learning initiative for grades 4 through 12 in 2016-17, administrators quickly understood that teachers required help learning to integrate the technology.

Honoree: Midlothian ISD Category Reading & Writing

A second-grade class in Midlothian, Texas, combines literature circles and digital formats to better develop young readers. 

Honoree: Roosevelt Union Free School District Category Professional Development

Roosevelt Middle School of Roosevelt Union Free School District in New York wanted to create science-based curricula spanning all core subjects. School administrators decided the best way to accomplish this was by developing science-focused PD for teachers.

Honoree: Souderton Area School District Category Professional Development

The vast and evolving power of educational technology—and its unpredictability in the classroom—inspired the Souderton Area School District to do more than simply offer PD. Its administrators created a whole new team of homegrown instructional coaches to provide real-time, year-round training that enhances the tech skills of the district’s teachers. 

Honoree: Vancouver Public Schools Category Professional Development

After adopting 1-to-1 learning that came about through a state technology levy passed in 2013, Vancouver Public Schools recognized that teachers and students needed extra training beyond traditional classroom time on how to use—and get the most out of—new education technology. 

June 2017

LAB ASSISTANTS—The iSTEAM Lab at Bing Wong Elementary School provides a space where eager students can learn the basics of engineering, design and digital fabrication.
Honoree: San Bernardino City Unified School District Category Makerspaces

The San Bernardino City Unified School District knew that local manufacturing companies were going to need a new quality workforce in future years because many of their current employees were planning to retire.

Bing Wong Elementary decided to help by creating the iSTEAM Lab, a makerspace where students can learn the basics of mechanical engineering, product innovation and design, rapid prototyping, and digital fabrication. 

PAW PRINTS—In addtion to using 3D printers to generate prosthetic hands for needy children, the students at Bishop McLaughlin High School also design and print items for use by local vetinarians, including devices that allow for better delivery of anesthesia to small animals.
Honoree: Diocese of St. Petersburg Category Makerspaces

Teachers in the science department at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill, Florida, were looking for ways to cultivate innovative thinking and to incorporate concepts being taught in classrooms, and then ways to apply those skills to real-world problems.

SPARK OF CREATIVITY—Students are encouraged to create and innovate in the Spark Lab at Booker T. Washington High School.
Honoree: Escambia County School District Category Makerspaces

When the Booker T. Washington High School considered transforming its library into an innovation center, it gave birth to a major shift in learning that started in 2015. 

APP BUILDERS—To teach fundamental math concepts to their fellow students, Butler Tech Ross High School students designed apps for the new HoloLens technology.
Honoree: Ross Local School District Category Math

Students at Butler Tech Ross High School in Hamilton, Ohio, combine cutting-edge technology with inquiry-based learning to develop software tools that teach basic math concepts to their fellow students in imaginative, inspiring ways. 

HANDS-ON LEARNING—The makerspace concept is a districtwide initiative in Cedar Falls, where more than half the schools have makerspace labs.
Honoree: Cedar Falls Community School District Category Makerspaces

Educators in Cedar Falls, Iowa, think of their makerspaces as student community centers with tools, some of which are pretty high- tech—such as 3D printers, robots, video cameras and manufacturing equipment.

Since 2015, Cedar Falls Community School District has opened Makerspace Labs in five of its nine buildings in an effort to provide deeper, hands-on and self-guided learning for its 5,300-plus students in all grades.

CHALLENGING SITUATIONS—At Central Middle School of Science, students participate in a series of STEM challenges designed around finding solutions to real-world problems.
Honoree: Anchorage School District Category Makerspaces

The Central Middle School of Science in Anchorage, Alaska, is truly committed to STEM-based education. “Science really is the soul of our school,” says principal Joel Roylance. “To implement this philosophy, we realized that the creation, design and development of a makerspace was essential.”

TALK NERDY TO ME—In addition to learning coding, programming and engineering skills, students in the “Innovate Dayton” program participate in competitive robotics events.
Honoree: Dayton School District Category Makerspaces

Innovate Dayton is designed to “Open the Door of Opportunity” for students and the community of Dayton.

Dayton High School in Oregon’s Dayton School District is partnering with Online NW, a local internet provider. It will provide Dayton homes and busi-nesses with the fastest internet speeds. With that, Dayton can better prepare students for high-demand tech jobs.