JIS teacher receives grant for Chromebooks
Jemison Intermediate sixth graders have been enjoying new Chromebooks, thanks to a $2,910 grant awarded to science teacher Katie Maddox.
The grant was funded by the Cawaco Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, which is a nonprofit organization that supports educational and community development projects throughout Central Alabama.
The Council, together with Senator Cam Ward and Representatives Jimmy Martin and April Weaver, presented an announcement check to Maddox on April 11 at the school.
“On behalf of RC&D, we certainly are proud to be a part of it,” Drayton Cosby of Cawaco RC&D said. “I actually wanted to thank our partners — Senator Ward, Representative Weaver, Representative Martin — they actually provide us funding through the state.”
Maddox shared the impact the grant has had on her classroom.
“I purchased 10 HP Chromebooks for my personal use in the classroom,” Maddox said. “Two years ago, whenever I began writing the grant, we only had two computer carts for our school that all the teachers were having to share.”
Maddox said she had hoped to supply to her classroom with enough Chromebooks for students to share in groups of two or three.
Much has changed since then, and school technology upgrades now offer a Chromebook-student ratio of almost 1 to 1, according to Maddox and Principal D.J. Nix.
Maddox said she uses the Chromebooks in her classroom on a daily basis to regularly access Google Classroom, AMSTI learning programs and other research programs.
“Those are the ones that I personally use in my room,” she said. “One thing that is really great for our school, [is] we have a very large ESL population.”
Maddox said companies that offer digital textbooks can better accommodate Spanish-speaking students with simplified scientific terms and translation options.
Reading levels can also be adjusted for students’ needs.
Ward said the state has created a fund to meet the technological upgrade needs for schools.
“Tablets are there now, but I daresay we’ll all look back in 10 years and say, ‘Remember those old tablets we used to use?’ It’ll just keep evolving,” Ward said.
For more information about Cawaco RC&D, visit cawaco.org.