James Pate

12/19/2012 12:00:00 AM

Media Coordinator/Teacher, Bee Log Elementary School, Burnsville, NC

When the 63 students in your rural school are three hours away from the closest large city and have never been to a beach, there’s only one way to let them get a feel for those places. At least, that’s what James Pate believes. “Technology lets me create experiences that these students would probably not otherwise have,” he says. “It levels the field for them.”

Pate wants his students to leave Bee Log Elementary School with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to use any type of technology they come in contact with effectively. “When children see items as tools, it’s not scary to try to use them. That kind of comfort will transfer to whatever jobs will be available when they’re older.”

Pate gets his teachers on board in a similar way. “Our teachers are learning that technology items are tools that every child should be able to use. It’s no longer innovative; it’s just part of our lives.”

In the last six years, Pate helped transform his school into a technology showplace. He dusted off the laptop lab, removed the plastic covering from the interactive whiteboards, and pushed the LCD projector carts away from the corners of the classrooms. As he began to use these tools in his media classes, his colleagues took note of his projects and started asking for help. Thanks to a supportive principal and Title I funds, Pate hired substitutes to allow teachers to attend several half-day training sessions. “What started as a onetime training turned into quarterly, school-wide collaboration days,” he says.

Teachers said they wanted the equipment to be more accessible, so he mounted all the projectors and bought new desktops, Flip video cameras, digital cameras, and document cameras. Still, the transformation wasn’t complete. “Our teachers were getting very good at using the items for teaching, but the children weren’t learning to use the items to become productive students.” Pate began collaborating with teachers on lessons that would allow the students to use the technology to create their own learning. Now, students use the devices to gather data, document their learning, and express themselves in new ways.

Last year, Pate and a teacher wrote a grant to purchase five iPods and then convinced the principal to buy another 10 iPods plus two iPads for teachers. “Students already know how to use an iPod to play games or listen to music, but we need our students to use them to become productive, 21st-century learners and leaders.” Pate did additional work with teachers during the summer and now they are using apps such as decibel readers, QR code readers, voice recorders, and GPS locators to enhance student and parent involvement.

“I’ve helped bring emerging technologies to the smallest and most rural K-5 school in North Carolina,” says Pate. “Winning this award helps me to know I’m headed in the right place with these children. It means that my school and community are doing something positive. We are preparing our kids to build a future.”

What He Uses

• Animoto
• Audacity
• Case 21
• Dell desktops
• Destiny Library Manager
• Discovery Streaming
• Document cameras
• Flip videocameras
• Hitachi interactive whiteboards
• iPads
• iPods
• Glogster
• Google Docs
• GPS units
• KidPix
• Kodak EasyShare digital cameras
• LC D Projectors
• Microsoft Office
• MovieMaker
• NC Wise Owl
• Prezi
• QR Codes
• SMARTBoards
• SMART Table interactive learning center
• Vernier science probes
• YouTube

Want to read more stories like this?

Get our Free Newsletter Here!

comments powered by Disqus
T&L Partner Post
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...


(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...


(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...


(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...


(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...


(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...


(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...


(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...


(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...


(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...