Trumann schools awarded ADTEC Education Innovation Award

Saturday, March 2, 2013
Pictured from left are: David Rutledge, Trumann Assistant Superintendent; Joy Lynn Bowen, Crossroads Coalition Board Chairman ; Myra Graham, Trumann Superintendent. (Photo provided by David Owens/Wynne Progress)

The Crossroads Coalition awarded Trumann High School recently at a banquet with the ADTEC Education Innovation Award. Their innovative education techniques that led to the acceptance of this award began at the start of the 2012-2013 school year when all students, grades K-12, were presented with an iPad or MacBook, both Apple brand products.

According to Superintendent Myra Graham, one of the largest contributors to the acceptance of the award was the hard work of the faculty and administrators of the Trumann School District.

"The teachers are the real artists, and the technology is only a paintbrush," said Graham.

Trumann also recently received a New Tech Grant for the teachers to become even more prepared in the New Tech program for the upcoming year. The grant is worth $150,000 from the state of Arkansas over a three-year time span. With the help of the grant, teachers will be trained meticulously to use New Tech and the project-based learning to its fullest potential.

Project-based learning is to be implemented as a part of the New Tech curriculum in the upcoming school year that the district was honored for, as well. It involves integrating various classrooms in order to help students work together to become college and career ready.

"For a classroom to be integrated, 70 percent of the standards must overlap," said Assistant Principal David Rutledge. "A lot of thought and planning goes into the process."

The project-based learning will start only in grades 9 and 10 in the fall semester. Trumann has already begun experimenting with integrating a ninth grade English and economics class, and Graham said the results have been amazing.

"These students are really getting into it," said Graham.

The only real problem the district has had to face with the new technology is simply students loosing or breaking the chargers for the devices. It is such a simple and small problem when 1,800 devices were issued at the beginning of the year, and only one of the computers has been lost.

"We gave every student a device, and took the year to get very much ahead with New Tech," said Rutledge. "We are getting better at it all the time with the education on the care of the technology and the practical uses."

The focus behind the New Tech Project-Based Learning to be introduced is college and career readiness for every student. The district has already begun to do their homework in preparation for the year, and this is now visible with their ADTEC award. Trumann is going beyond the old test-taking routine, and training their students to retain valuable knowledge for real world experiences by giving them the opportunity to expand their practical, creative, and analytical thinking.

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