The Pulaski Community School District is pleased to announce that its Model Classroom Initiative has been named an Apple Distinguished Program for the 2012–2013 school year for its success in providing an engaging learning environment for today’s learners.
This year, PCSD’s model classroom initiative joins a select group Apple has recognized as Apple Distinguished Programs – an award reserved for programs that integrate Apple technology in education and meet criteria for leadership, innovation and educational excellence.
Since PCSD’s model classroom program was introduced in 2011, there have been six classrooms at various grade levels designated as model classrooms. These classrooms act as models for all other classrooms about the best ways to integrate 21st century tools into the district’s existing curriculum. The model classrooms are Sara Malchow, 1st Grade, Glenbrook Elementary; Chris Hendricks, 5th Grade, Glenbrook Elementary, Josh Pratt, 6th Grade, Sandy Schmidt, 7th Grade and Tina Mills and formerly Clay Reisler, 8th grade at Pulaski Community Middle School; and Katie Titler, Pulaski High School World Language.
Students in these classrooms continue to learn the curriculum as they did before, but they use technology in a variety of other experiences to further enhance learning. First graders in Malchow’s class practice their writing, spelling and basic math facts using a variety of apps as well as learn together via instant messaging with a classroom in Texas. Eighth graders in Mills’ class are learning math together by demonstrating their work using a variety of apps and then posting this work to their class Schoology account for feedback from their classmates. High school students in Titler’s Spanish classes are using the technology to practice real world speaking skills and see and hear real world experiences in Spanish speaking countries.
Technology allows for so many experiences that could not be possible without it. It provides students different ways to reinforce learning, access to a wealth of information online, and real world exposure beyond our classroom walls!
Not only is this program a success in the teachers’ eyes, but also the students and parents.
“Technology changes the way I learn because if I don’t know something, I can just look it up, helping me learn for myself,” said Crystal, a current 9th grade student.
Pulaski parents have also been pleased with the results of the model classroom initiative.
“The model classroom helped reach kids on every level of learning. It helped my child to be responsible with the technology we have in our home. Overall, my son’s year was outstanding- he probably learned and retained more because of the way learning was presented,” said parent Tiffany Rondou.
More than ten school districts from throughout Wisconsin have already visited PCSD’s model classrooms to initiate similar programs in their districts, and the district is extremely excited about this award.
“The success of this program is in the teachers’ time, dedication and passion for teaching as well as the students’ engagement in their learning,” said PCSD Instructional Technology Coordinator Amy Uelmen. “We look forward to finding ways to implement these successful instructional practices with technology into every classroom so all students can benefit!”
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