Connie is passionate about making a difference for her students at Central Elementary in San Diego. She teaches the students from 4-5 years of age, preparing them to enter school at age 5-6. Her integration of technology has been a steep learning curve but the benefits have impacted on students and the wider community in ways not first envisaged.
For the majority of students English is a second language. To support families whose children will be starting school and to lessen the impact of the long summer break, Connie along with her fellow kindergarten teachers, produced a multimedia DVD to support families and their students. It includes the teachers modeling counting, alphabet, days of the week, shapes etc. This is sent home with every student along with other goodies, crayons, paper etc and they are encouraged to "watch this everyday, or we'll know" says Connie. The purpose of the video was originally to assist students with preparation for entering school and to help support their parents. Connie reported that as a consequence children arrive at school more prepared, often recognising the teachers from the DVD and more confident and aware of the exceptions for their learning...learning is not a secret!
Parents are also more confident to support their children and have become more actively involved in their school community. For Connie the technology provides another strategy to support her practice and an opportunity to "grab" her students and she has continued to push the boundaries with her use of e-learning...what drives her to make a difference for her students?