Student News

Please help teachers in our master’s program
Make a gift to “Digital Wish” by January 11

Twelve teachers in the literacy cohort of the Master of Education program for experienced teachers have registered with Digital Wish, a non-profit organization that helps educators obtain funding for technology for their classrooms. The teachers have created “wish lists” consisting of digital video cameras and accessories they need to complete their “Teacher as Researcher” class in the master’s program this spring semester.

They and their M.Ed. classmates will create lessons, film themselves teaching the lessons and share the videos with each other, with the goal of evaluating the literacy lessons, observing student behaviors and classroom dynamics, and honing their practice as teachers. By watching each other’s videos, the teachers will be able to see various classrooms of multiple grade levels ranging from kindergarten through high school across different school systems in North Carolina.

“Using the digital video cameras will help us share ideas and will spark conversations across grade levels,” said Lindsay Creech, who worked with classmate Heather Greene to coordinate the teachers’ application to Digital Wish.

After the master’s assignment is completed, the teachers plan to use the cameras in their classrooms in a variety of ways. For example, they will videotape classroom activities and student projects in order to enhance their curriculum and instruction. They will record and analyze students’ reading behaviors in order to facilitate assessment of students’ reading abilities and especially to help struggling readers. And they will record student behaviors, such as successes with newly learned skills, as a way of improving communication with parents.

They also hope to share what they have learned with other teachers at their school. “I hope to serve as a ‘pilot teacher’ for using this new technology to enhance Professional Learning Communities within my school,” Creech wrote on the Digital Wish Web site. “With my success, it is my hope that I will inspire my principal to see the value in using this type of technology for assessment so that she will want to purchase these cameras for all the teachers at my school.”

Creech teaches at Creekside Elementary School in Durham and Greene teaches at Mary Scroggs Elementary School in Chapel Hill.

How you can help

People who would like to donate can go to the Digital Wish Web site and enter the name of someone in the cohort from the list of names below. All donations are tax-deductible, and the cameras will be shipped directly to the schools.

“Donations in any amount are helpful and greatly appreciated,” said Creech.  

For each teacher, Digital Wish will provide two cameras for the price of one ─ $150. Teachers in the cohort plan to share with one another. “So by helping one teacher reach his or her goal, a donor is really helping two,” said Assistant Professor Leigh Hall, leader of the literacy cohort.

“My advice for interested donors would be to look for someone who has almost reached the dollar amount and donate to that person,” Hall added.

In order to get cameras in the teachers’ hands in time to begin work on their master’s projects, donations are needed by January 11, 2010.

To make a donation, go to Digital Wish and select “DONORS”; then “Browse Teachers”; then enter a teacher’s name.

Questions?

If you have questions or want more information, contact Lindsay Creech at lcreech@email.unc.edu or Heather Greene at htgreene@email.unc.edu.

Participating teachers

Kate Bradley
Faye Crawford
Lindsay Creech
Jenny Freudenberg
Laura Jacobs
Katie Jiang
Hana Kamiya
Erin Kenney
Amie Lengyel
Cori Rochford
Elizabeth Stout
Carolyn Wilson