In addition to SchoolPower’s many grants made directly to teachers, its annual Fund-a-Need program provides resources at the district level.
“We have a vision of a 21st-century classroom,” Thurston Middle School Principal Joanne Culverhouse said.
She was on the team of district staff that developed the video.
“We thought they would give us a list of three things,” SchoolPower Program Director Stephanie Reid said. “But to make us a video ... We were so blown away. I think all our jaws dropped.”
The “Simply Integrated” Fund-a-Need would use the technology to increase student collaboration, involvement and enthusiasm.
In the film, a student using a tablet notebook PC talks to a student using a textbook about education.
The archaic and modern teaching methods were both played in dual-screen by high school senior Brendan McGrady, who was recently accepted to study drama at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
The textbook was a mass of lost and disorganized papers; the tablet was able to archive his notes in his digital locker.
He also discussed the merits of the new online MyAccess program and showed kids video conferencing with students around the world.
The textbook, on the other hand, lamented the endless piles of homework packets, and equally endless boredom in class, describing the typical school experience as “uneventful.”
The duo compared the future of their respective students: the tablet shows a scene in the Tom Cruise flick “Minority Report,” in which the dashing hero used his hands to manipulate data on floating computer screens.
The notebook’s future student was none other than Dwight from hit sitcom “The Office,” bawling in a typical meltdown.