T&L Announces Winners of Its “Best of EdTech” Contest for California Schools

T&L Announces Winners of Its “Best of EdTech” Contest for California Schools

Tech & Learning has selected four winning schools in its inaugural “What's Your Best EdTech Project” contest for California-based schools. Winners will showcase their work at Tech & Learning Live in Long Beach on January 30th.

Congratulations to the following four schools:

Coachella Valley High School, Coachella Valley Unified School District. Coachella Valley High School partnered with Sunnylands Center & Gardens in an environmental conservation program to revive the Monarch butterfly population in the Coachella Valley area. The program focuses on two areas: 1) Train students in a joint international research effort on a tag-and-release program to collect vital data on the Monarch Population; and 2) Create an official Monarch Waystation on the Coachella Valley High School campus to provide safe habitat for the migrant monarchs. Students use video editing software to document and record their work, which they will share with international communities over the two-year span of the project.

Corona Ranch Elementary, Corona Norco Unified School District: Teacher Michael Grothem’s students create weekly news announcements for their elementary school. This is a completely student-led project: from choosing segments, writing lines, video recording, video editing (by collaborating on Google Docs), to publishing online. The finished project is then viewed by the whole school each Monday and by parents at their leisure online. The segments range from needed announcements to school lifeskills, student recognition, homework help, college of the week, geeky facts, and more.

Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana Unified School District: Teacher Andrea Earl’s students create videos that present peers with mathematical challenges. They also produce solution videos that explain how to solve these challenges. These videos are uploaded to YouTube and incorporate Video Manager to link the videos (e.g. “Click here to continue” so viewers must watch the challenge before viewing the solutions). Students share links to these videos with student-created QR codes. Peers watch the challenge video, solve the problem, and watch the solution video to check their work. This year, student challenges will span Math 7 Common Core State Standards and will reflect the class theme of the Iditarod.

Bellarmine College Prep: Teacher Chris Cozort offers computer science curriculum to first through fourth grade campers during Bellarmine’s Summer Camp program using Lego Robotics. He has also developed a more advanced version of the curriculum for his 9-12th grade Exploring Computer Science students. In the course, students use the EV3 Lego Robotics system to learn about introductory programming and robotics concepts through project-based learning and design thinking. Through a variety of design challenges, students are asked to solve problems involving robots navigating courses that they design themselves using sensors and motors. Apps like Hopscotch are also used to reinforce concepts along the way. “Giving students voice and choice through project-based learning curriculum keeps them invested in the outcome, which results in real comprehension,” says Cozort. “The design thinking model is a great tool for outlining PBL with this type of project, because it defines clear milestones for teachers and learners.”

Congratulations to all of these winning schools!