CRESTVIEW — Crestview High School teacher Dana Baum's advanced placement European history students could share classroom screen time as they search for, find and compare answers and information.
They could take tests on smart phones and tablet computers, with Baum monitoring in real time. Grades could be instantaneously delivered digitally. Problem material could be flagged for further teaching.
If Baum were out sick, as she was early last week, her students could call up her lessons and proceed without her.
Students could do all these things and more if each had a smart phone or iPad.
But just six out of 20 students in the class do.
Fundraising for technology
"I cannot utilize half of the resources I have because of limited access by the students," Baum said. "Working with technology should not be a once-in-a-while opportunity; it should be common."
Understanding that district budget money is tight, Baum turned to the Internet to raise funds to equip each seat in her classroom with an iPad.
Through Digital Wish, a fundraising website, she hopes to raise $10,000 toward purchase of 25 $400 tablet computers.
Incoming Principal Dexter Day praised Baum's approach to funding classroom technology needs.
"She's one of our young teachers who's really enthusiastic," Day said.
Closing the gap
When students learned their cumbersome binders of handouts could have been stored digitally, they lamented the missed opportunity.
"That honestly would've made the year so much easier," freshman Gabby Nelson said. "I wrote so many outlines, it sucks. I had to get another binder."
"It would have been really helpful this year," Quinn Stegner said, adding he sometimes felt overwhelmed just by the sheer volume of notes and handouts.
When — she's not saying if — her classroom goes digital, Baum said she won't have to kill another tree.
"My job in the 21st century is to do more than teach facts and figures," Baum said. "I must teach students how to find accurate, credible information.
"We cannot teach to our limitations but to our students' capabilities, and technology is part of that. I just want to close that gap."
WANT TO HELP?
To help equip Dana Baum's history classes with iPads, visit www.digitalwish.com and search for Crestview High School or contact Baum at 689-7177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.