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South Plains EC News

New Technology, New Success

Teacher mini-grant provides Lubbock-Cooper Central Elementary with iPad Pro

The Operation Round Up Board of Directors initiated a program offering small, $500 grants to teachers. Grants were available to K-12 teachers in math or language arts for the 2016-2017 school year. The funds are made available by South Plains Electric members who ask to have their monthly bill rounded up to the next dollar. The extra change, averaging only $6 per year, funds projects like the teacher mini-grants, scholarships and much more.

Operation Round Up was established in 1993 to help communities and individuals needing a hand up, not a hand out. The program’s tagline, “neighbors helping neighbors,” is at the heart of why South Plains Electric Cooperative exists.

During the past 24 years, Operation Round Up has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations. Many donations go unpublicized out of respect for the individual recipients. Operation Round Up, under the guidance of a 10-member board, sometimes works quietly to improve members’ lives.

Nine teacher mini-grants were awarded for the 2016-2017 school year. The recipients are: Amy Drake, Lubbock ISD; Amanda Dunn, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; Kara Gibson, Shallowater ISD; Ollie Hart, Abernathy ISD; Morgan Hisey, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; Jennifer Rodriquez, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; Lisa Sanders, Cotton Center ISD; Jana Simmons, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; and Carol Trent, Shallowater ISD.

If all of our members were participating in Operation Round Up, we would have over $200,000 a year to give back to our local communities. You can sign up for Operation Round Up online or call 806.775.7766. You may also sign up by checking the Operation Round Up box on your monthly bill.

As an educator, I have found very few businesses who support us in the classroom as well as South Plains Electric Cooperative does. SPEC is an amazing company and always gives back to the community. I was fortunate enough to receive the Cooperative’s mini-grant for teachers. With this grant I was able to purchase a 12-inch iPad Pro.

Impact of New Technology

The iPad Pro has been a wonderful tool to use in my classroom. Our school is transitioning into an all- Apple campus. The iPad Pro is not only being used as a teaching tool to AirPlay lessons and teach the students, it is used daily for the students to create presentations on and AirPlay them to their classmates.

Because of the large screen on the iPad Pro, my students are able to be very creative and spend a great amount of time perfecting their presentations and projects. The students beg to use the iPad Pro daily. Since our new technological device is in such high demand in the classroom, we created a rotation system for each student to have an equal amount of time with the iPad Pro.

In today’s world, students are completely technology driven and focused. The addition of this iPad has been a true blessing. My students are so comfortable with technology, and the student-led lessons have motivated them each to do more research and work and become experts in their field of knowledge. It’s truly a blessing to watch them grow and learn with technology.

My students are capable of sharing and presenting their projects from the iPad Pro through AirPlay which is then projected on our Apple TV. While presenting, they take pride in their work and explain concepts and ideas to their peers. It is an interactive and engaging way for my students to be active participants during class.

New Learning and Study Techniques

In addition, together we have found multiple apps that help motivate the students to study their vocabulary words. For example, using Quizlet Live, the students are randomly split into teams where they compete against each other answering questions about their vocabulary words. This process is all displayed on the Apple TV from my iPad Pro.

My students beg to play over and over again. They even study at night to be able to “dominate” the other teams the next day during our competition time. Because of the nature of the game and the competiveness they show, I don’t have to motivate them to study because they do it on their own. This is priceless!

A Big Thanks to SPEC

I simply cannot express how appreciative I am for SPEC and their continued support of educators. The tools we are adding to our classrooms through the mini-grants are wonderful, and the things the students learn from these tools will be used throughout the years.