• December 19, 2014

Tech based: KISD teachers receive grants from CenturyLink

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:30 am

The typical 10-year-old displays certain tech-related skills that eludes the typical mature adult.

Fourth-grade teacher Kelly Snyder said she has seen it regularly — students can navigate a computer game while maintaining a digital conversation simultaneously and efficiently.

“They multitask,” she said. “They can play a game and text at the same time. You and I can’t.”

The Haynes Elementary School teacher used the example as an explanation for why she shot her hands in the air and performed a spontaneous cheer when she heard she won a $4,100 grant to purchase 10 classroom iPads.

Steve Hanik, of CenturyLink, regional market development in Killeen, delivered four grants to Killeen ISD teachers Thursday, all for iPads and other technology.

“There are only so many computers here and we get just so much lab time,” Snyder said. “You’ve heard some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth; well, these kids were born with iPods in their hands.”

She said she would use the technology to allow students to conduct research, do presentations and communicate via Skype with mentors and partner classrooms. “It makes the world so much more accessible.”

Hanik delivered four grants to three schools in Killeen, including two $4,300 grants to Iduma Elementary School for a fourth- and fifth-grade class and a $4,500 grant to Pershing Park Elementary School for the school library.

Salado High School also is poised to receive a $4,000 grant for video editing equipment. Nationally, CenturyLink awarded $1.4 million in grants to teachers.

“It’s a great chance for us to go directly into the classroom,” Hanik said. “We know without technology kids lose an advantage. I’m proud of these teachers for taking the time to apply for grants.”

At Pershing Park Elementary School, $4,500 will purchase 10 iPads to add to the 10 the library already uses. Librarian Lara Sursa, who was attending a conference Thursday, called in to express her joy at receiving the grant. The 20 iPads, she said, would allow whole classes to do research together and to integrate technology into group activities. “It’s exactly what we’ve dreamed of doing.”

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