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South Williamsport teachers named Keystone Technology Stars

Three teachers from the South Williamsport Area School District were chosen as Keystone Technology Innovators for their dedication to utilizing technology to enhance their students’ learning experience.

Tara McGlensey, sixth grade language arts teacher at Rommelt Elementary School; Tina Pulver, third grade teacher at Central Elementary School; and Kelly Shearer, English teacher at the South Williamsport Area Jr./Sr. High School, were recognized for their efforts. They were selected as three out of 100 teachers in the state who have received the privilege of being Keystone Technology Stars.

They will attend a state-level summit this summer at Shippensburg University to expand their knowledge about the educational tools they could use in their classrooms. A few of the topics will be personalized learning, classroom transformation and creativity/innovation.

All three teachers showcased in their applications how they use innovative technology in their classrooms.

Each of them used the resources available to help their students learn in a way they would not be able to without technology.

McGlensey is always excited to learn about how she can enhance her language arts class through technology. This year she did a new project with her students called selfie missions. Her sixth graders had to take a series of selfies then write captions using grammar skills they learned.

Examples of the selfie themes were to take one outside, with a friend and in the mirror. For the some of the captions they had to use a comma correctly and use certain verb tenses for different.

They created a PowerPoint slideshow of their selfies and captions which she put on her website.

“The kids loved the project,” she said. “It was a great way to review the skills they learned this year.”

Pulver has a cart of iPads that students have access to every day. Having them in the classroom gives her students more opportunities to try new apps and explore websites as a part of their curriculum.

“Having iPads has totally changed my classroom,” she said. “It’s a part of the class environment.”

She works hard to incorporate iPads into all aspects of her class. For a math lesson, the students used the app Flipgrid to record videos of themselves explaining how to solve math equations.

In Shearer’s Empowering Minds class, students work on individual projects that they are passionate about.

One student planned a clothing drive where she made contact with the Goodwill headquarters in Falls Creek. She used social media to spread the word about the clothing drive which resulted in 1,000 items being donated to the non-profit.

“She was able to get real-life experience through her project,” she said.

In her yearbook class, the students used to take two weeks to put together the yearbook. Now they spend one day at the Mountie Innovative Learning Lab at Rommelt where they can freely collaborate together and use the available technology.

Each of the teachers are excited to attend the Keystone Technology Stars summit to learn about new ways that they can enhance their classes with new tools and programs.

McGlensey said there are so many tools available that she is excited to learn how to use. She hopes to learn about basic coding to incorporate into her lessons as well.

Having the iPads in her classroom, Pulver said, “I go through a lot of trial and error right now so I would like to learn how to use technology in a more effective way.”

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