Morgan County high school teacher, students among 13 teams demonstrating impact of technology fundin

Athens, Ga. – Students from Morgan County High School and 12 other schools across Georgia will demonstrate to state legislators the positive impact that technology funding is having on instruction in Georgia’s public schools in an event called “Capitol Tech” on Monday, March 7.

The event, to be held at the state Capitol building in Atlanta, will spotlight students using the fundamental technology tools necessary to succeed in the 21st century. Students and teachers are eager for their local legislators to see firsthand how these tools are helping to increase student achievement and build community partnerships.

According to a report titled “Learning for the 21st Century,” “Today’s education system faces irrelevance unless we bridge the gap between how students live and how they learn.” The report was published by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a public-private advocacy organization for changing learning in the new century that includes such businesses as the Ford Motor Co., Time Warner, Verizon, Cisco Systems, the Educational Testing Service, Intel, Junior Achievement, Microsoft, SAP, the National Education Association, Dell and Texas Instruments.

Capitol Tech is a collaborative effort between Georgia’s schools and the state’s 13 Educational Technology Training Centers (ETTC). The team from Morgan County High School in Madison is representing the 15 school systems in northeast Georgia served by the ETTC based in the University of Georgia’s College of Education.

Morgan County High teacher Tim Savelle and four of his students – Amanda Stephens, Lauren Croft, Mandi Hunter and Bradley Towe – will show legislators how they use technology as an important part of their agriculture curriculum. They will use special software to diagnose animal diseases and demonstrate the virtual dissection of a cat.

They will also show how they used a spreadsheet to help grow healthy plants for a commercial project and explain how they used a GPS unit and computers to map local forest areas.

Other districts’ demonstrations will include student-designed Web sites that help students understand curriculum issues, multimedia projects that demonstrate subject comprehension, and projects in which students collaborate with teachers to produce lessons that effectively use technology in the teaching and learning process.

The UGA Technology Training Center has a faculty of seven educational technology professionals working with school districts in northeast Georgia to improve and promote research-based methods of instruction with teachers. Their emphases include the integration of multiple technologies to enrich the curriculum and increase student achievement, effective uses of technology to increase school productivity, and distance learning to provide opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.

For more information on the UGA Technology Training Center, visit http://ttc.coe.uga.edu/; for information on the “Learning for the 21st Century” report, see www.21stcenturyskills.org/default.asp.