Lone Oak Intermediate School teacher Emily Morehead is making the final touches on her classroom. She welcomes a new batch of fifth grade reading students next week, and her lesson plans are going high-tech.
"It's just so nice to be able to have that technology easily accessible," Morehead told Local 6.
Using the crowdfunding site Donors Choose, Morehead was able to buy six iPad Minis. The website is strictly for teachers, who can request help for funding classroom needs.
"(There are) all kinds of free apps that they can access on there," Morehead said of the tablets.
Everything from reading comprehension to short stories is at their fingertips. "The comprehension apps are great, because they are still doing the same thing they would be doing on pencils and paper, but it seems a little more fun when it's on some technology," she said.
The donors, some of them strangers, paid the $1,800 needed to make it happen, and Morehead believes it wouldn't have been possible without them.
"It was really great to have people willing to donate and willing to help out our classroom," she said.
If teachers can think of it, the website can help fund it. Fifth grade math teacher Debra Harris is asking for 15 yoga balls.
"I knew that the kids had a problem sitting still. We all do," Harris said.
According to Harris, staying focused is a challenge for many students. She researched the use of yoga balls and found they keep students engaged. She noticed a change in a student last year.
"He couldn't lay his head down on his desk, which he wanted to do with that yoga ball. So, that was one thing I quickly noticed is there was that stimulation," Harris said.
Harris estimates the costs around $600, but she said you can't put a price on student success. Morehead believes the technology is not only changing the way she teaches, but how her students are learning.
"Anytime you see a kid get excited about reading, it's well worth it," Morehead said.
If you'd like to learn more about Harris's Donors Choose page, click here.
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