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Posted April 11, 2013

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CHS Teacher Uses Promethean Board to Engage Students

Dr. Melodie MacDiarmid, this month's recipient of the TIG/APS Education Foundation Innovation Award, said she reaches more students by utilizing tools they are familiar with.

Melodie MacDiarmid, second from left, is awarded the TIG/Foundation Innovation Award.

Dr. Melodie MacDiarmid wears a lot of hats at Cibola High. She teaches creative writing, sophomore English and English as a Second Language. She is an ESL leader, chairwoman of the Student Assistance Team, a union and Instructional Council representative, and co-founder of the Cibola Cougar Closet which provides gently used clothing to students in need.

Now, she can add Innovation Award winner to the list.

MacDiarmid is the latest to win the award sponsored by Technology Integration Group and the APS Education Foundation and given monthly to teachers who are advancing education in the classroom through the use of technology, including Promethean ActivBoards.

With the award, honorees can select $2,500 worth of peripherals and publisher materials that will integrate with their existing Promethean ActivBoard. They also receive a $100 check to spend on themselves.

“My students and I were thrilled and excited when I received this great honor,” said MacDiarmid. “It feels so unbelievably good to be acknowledged for hard work, especially these days when teachers do so many things and spend so much time trying to create lessons that will engage students."

MacDiarmid said she uses her Promethean Board to do just that. “This set of tools has been so great that I often ask how I taught for 20 years without them!”

MacDiarmid said she especially likes using flipcharts and has taught her students to use them as well.

“The flipcharts give students the chance to create and to interact with the board and lesson. They feel like they are part of it, because they are. It creates a student-centered environment.”

MacDiarmid said she uses the Promethean Board in all of her classes. In creative writing, for example, students use it as a publishing station and to share their work. In her English classes, the board is used for test and vocabulary review, to help understand literature, for class debates, and much more.

“Today, in the age of technology where our kids live online with social media, online searches, cell phones that serve as computers, and tablets/iPads, we feel as though we are competing for their attention,” MacDiarmid said. “If we utilize the tools that our students are interested in and familiar with, most of them will be engaged. It is important to embrace technology. This is the way our students live, so why not learn that way too?”


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