HEF grant assists student organization through technology

In its first grant cycle of the 2012-2013 school year, The Henrico Education Foundation (HEF) funded 21 grants totaling just more than $42,000, one of which will impact 410 of Tucker’s new ninth-graders. This grant funded staff training in utilizing some of the newest online organization and remediation tools for students who are new to the demands of high school.

“The students in ninth grade struggle academically more than any other grade level,” said Jonathan Morris, an assistant principal at Tucker High School.

Morris worked with Andrea Lund, Tucker’s technology resource teacher, to design the project.

During the summer, 20 Tucker High teachers participated in a day packed with learning about new online resources as well as innovative methods to get students up to speed and motivated to learn.

“This grant is a year-long promotion of the amazing and fairly-new resources and tools that are available to enhance learning that are out there online,” Morris said. “As part of the promotion we are dealing with teacher and staff development and with students as well. We did a lot of training on Google Docs and Google Sites, which are huge. We also did a lot of exploration into flipped classroom instruction.”

Throughout the school year, Tucker will also give students incentive to utilize online tools to the fullest. Three students will be rewarded for maintaining the most organized and functional website during a “Best Website Contest.”

“We hope the promotion of websites as well as the ‘Best Website Contest’ will get students to be organized online and will motivate them to use their computers as an organizational tool not just an access tool or a productivity tool,” Morris said.

“We are particularly excited about this teacher development grant as it has the potential to impact students through their high school years and beyond,” said HEF’s program manager, Paula Roop. “The grant, focused initially on teacher training, is a new direction for our grants program and is made possible through a grant from State Farm Insurance.”

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