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Draper Journal

Draper Elementary Students Benefit From Technology Grants

Feb 20, 2015 01:49PM ● By Julie Slama
More than $34,000 has been awarded to Draper Elementary teachers for technology to be used in the classrooms to enhance student learning.

About $20,000 has been from Donors Choose, where, during a certain time of the year, requests are matched dollar for dollar through Chevron’s Fuel Your School program. About $14,500 came from Canyons School District Education Foundation and a school-based technology grant.

“The building leadership team and school community council have a shared vision of a 1:1 ratio with putting a device in each student’s hand,” Principal Piper Riddle said. “We still use paper to write with and text books to read with, but this is a way we can supplement and enrich traditional education and give our students 21st century skills.”

Draper Elementary has about 735 students, and Riddle estimates that they have about 450 devices and will continue to add to those as funding allows.

Riddle said the grants have provided four SmartBoards, 30 Spheros robots and a WeatherBug station. The rest have been for mini and regular size iPads. She hopes to add about 12 more Smart Boards, 30 more Chromebooks and 30 MacBook Airs within the next six months and to continue having teachers write grants for additional iPads.

“We want to have the accessibility to integrate technology into the classroom. Students are more engaged and are getting greater exposure and use of technological skills,” she said.

Riddle said many classrooms use a reflector application where students can show their work on a flashboard so it can be interactive with the class and teacher. Students use iPads to learn math, English, research social studies topics and other subjects.

“We teach Internet safety, and our library media specialist has filters so students are looking at educational sites when they navigate on the iPads and computers. We also train our teachers how to implement technology into the classroom,” she said.

Recently, an additional $23,000 came from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to purchase two Chromebook mobile labs, totaling 66 computers, and the Parent-Teacher Association fun run paid for a mobile iPad cart with 33 iPads.

“We want to enhance the students’ education and increase their problem-solving and critical thinking skills with hands-on experience in navigating and summarizing information in numerous topics and accessing it on tablets and computers,” Riddle said.