Amplify! IPEI Empowers Students With Technology

August 3, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 6.56.17 PMThis spring, second-grade students at Northeast Elementary School were given innovative new ways to use technology in their classrooms.


Through funding from a Red and Gold Grant from the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), second-grade teachers at Northeast purchased and studied “Amplify! Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom” by Kate Muhtaris and Kristen Ziemke. Amplify! is a book designed to show teachers ways to incorporate digital tools into their classrooms, no matter the teacher’s technological experience.


With the introduction of iPads and Chromebooks to second-grade classrooms, the lessons found in Amplify! were critical in demonstrating how to reap the most benefits from this technology.


Mary-Elizabeth McDaniel, second grade teacher, explained the advantages of adapting these digital tools for the classroom in her application for the grant. “We want students communicating, collaborating and thinking – using the technology as a tool to facilitate that work and allow them to present and share their work with others.” Amplify! arms teachers with the knowledge necessary to achieve this goal, thus fostering a more creative and collaborative classroom environment.


These educators met regularly during their second-grade Professional Learning Community (PLC) planning sessions to discuss the book and develop methods for fusing their readings into their lesson plans. These collaborative learning sessions allowed the teachers to brainstorm lessons as well as discuss the success of each lesson after it was presented in the classroom. They were also able to share artifacts created by students.


The skills and techniques learned from Amplify! will extend far beyond the school year. Second-grade teachers at Northeast are now better-equipped with the knowledge on how to use technology in classrooms in a way that fosters higher order thinking and collaboration among students in the years to come.


IPEI Red and Gold Grants are awards up to $500 for projects that strengthen and enrich learning in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD).

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