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Posted December 6, 2012

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In Lindsey Bird's Class, Students Use Technology as Much as the Teacher

The first-grade teacher at Ventana Ranch Elementary is this month's TIG/APS Education Foundation Innovation Award winner, earning $2,500 in software, peripherals and training, as well as $100 in cash.

In Lindsey Bird’s first grade class at Ventana Ranch Elementary, the students use the interactive white board as much as the teacher.

Bird, who has been teaching at Ventana Ranch for seven years, has embraced technology, as have her young students who use the Promethean Board, computers and iPods everyday to enhance their learning.

It’s this successful integration of of technology along with Bird's willingness to keep learning  herself that earned her the TIG/APS Education Foundation Innovation Award honoring district teachers who are advancing education through the use of technology in the classroom.

Bird received a $2,500 prize that can be used to buy peripherals, publisher materials and training for her classroom’s Promethean ActivBoard.

She also got a $100 cash award.

"A lot of my technology use started with the Promethean board and has just snowballed from there,” Bird said. “It's a great way to engage my kids, and I can do so much more with a computer than I could do with traditional teaching methods."

Bird said she enjoys using technology in the classroom because it makes learning visual and interactive. “Plus, the kids have grown up with technology in their lives and will need to be proficient at it regardless of what they decide to do when they grow up," she said. "I can also tailor learning to all different learning styles with technology, so I'm able to reach different groups of students in different ways. It's made such a difference in the way I teach and the way kids learn. I do it for the kids and I do it because it's fun.”

In addition to working with the Promethean board in her own classroom, Bird has served as a trainer for Technology Integration Group for the past two years, helping teachers to use the ActivInspire technology in their classrooms. “I've been able to learn even more about my use of technology in my classroom, and it has further enhanced my teaching,” Bird said.

She’ll take that experience to the college level next year, teaching a course on computers in the classroom.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to use the money for yet," Bird said. "I have a list as long as my arm of things I would like to have, but now that I actually have the money, I have to narrow it down.”

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