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Posted May 10, 2012

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Zia Teacher Wins First-Ever Innovative Technology Award

Christine Laffler plans to use the $2,500 to buy peripherals and software to improve her use of technology in the classroom.

Jim Lujan of TIG presents Christine Laffler, a fifth grade teacher at Zia ES, with the first Innovative Technology Award.

What would you do if you had $2,500 to spend on technology in the classroom? Christine Laffler, a fifth grade teacher at Zia Elementary School, knows exactly what she’ll do now that she is the recipient of the first-ever TIG/APS Education Foundation Teachers and Innovative Technology Award.

Laffler will be buying more teaching and learning tools including tablets, software, lessons and flipcharts to use with the Promethean ActivBoards in her school.

Technology Integration Group has partnered with the Foundation to create the Innovative award that will be presented monthly during the school year to a district teacher who is advancing education in the classroom through the use of technology, including Promethean Boards.

APS teachers with a Promethean board may apply for the award, which includes the opportunity to buy a variety of ActivClassroom interactive tools or training to assist in the classroom. A $100 cash award also will be provided.

Laffler, who uses the Promethean Board in her classroom every day to teach every subject including Common Core curriculum, said she plans to purchase peripherals such as tablets and software to create more subject flipbooks that she will share with her fellow teachers. She also hopes to purchase  DK Eyewitness Activlessons and packs for science and social studies.

Laffler was nominated for the award by the parent of one of her fifth grade students.

“My daughter comes home excitedly talking about new and different uses of technology," wrote parent Dana Allen Mullen. “Ms. Laffler teaches her class standing beside the board (not with her back to the students while writing on a white/black board). She can watch their eyes as they learn from a new flipchart lesson. She puts up a math problem fast and has a couple students use the pen to show their work to all the class for teaching and correction. They can use the shapes and ruler to work on fractions. For reading and writing lessons, the students love proofreading. Nothing is more fun than catching the teacher in spelling and grammar mistakes up on that great big board.”

Laffler also has used the Promethean Board to help students prepare presentations, movies and art. In addition to teaching fifth grade, Laffler is the sponsor of the Zia ES video club where students create their own movies using iMovies and the board.

The Innovation Award will resume in September and continue through the 2012-13 school year. Educators may nominate themselves or their colleagues for the award. A committee will evaluate the nominations and select the winner, who will be honored at a school presentation.

The Innovation Award is the latest donation to the Foundation from TIG, which is the title sponsor for this year’s A is for Art! fundraiser in September and also is a key sponsor of the Horizon Campaign, the Foundation’s push to raise $1 million in private support for Fine Arts, Middle/High School Activities, Literacy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs throughout the district.

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