Mimio Global Press

Grant adds a little magic to Mountain View classrooms

By Joe Rubino, Enterprise Staff Writer

Grant adds a little magic to Mountain View classrooms

BroomfieldEnterprise.com - August 7, 2011 - Marie Glover, who teaches the deaf and hard-of-hearing children in third, fourth and fifth grades at Mountain View Elementary School, calls principal Tracey Amend "the queen of grant landing."

At no time was that title more fitting than late last month, when it was announced that Mountain View was sole winner of a national science and math grant from educational technology company Dymo/Mimio for 10 Mimio Teach interactive whiteboard systems. Mountain View beat out more than 100 other K-12 schools in the United States and Canada to receive the grant, according to Dymo/Mimio, and has already received the new, state-of-the-art, interactive educational technology.

"A former computer teacher forwarded the grant to me," Amend said. "It was due the last day of school. And I put out the call for help from my teachers and people answered the call. Thanks goodness, because this was a jackpot. I was literally screaming and jumping up and down (when we won)."

Magen McGahee, Dymo/Mimio's leader of federal programs and district initiatives, personally called Amend to tell her the news.

"(They won) because they included a variety of ideas in their proposals," McGahee said. "They had planned ahead to see how they would use it. It was kind of unique. A lot of time it's the uniqueness that makes it stand out."

The 10 Mimio Teach systems came with a high-quality digital document reader and an interactive tablet hooked into the system that can be used from anywhere in a classroom. The centerpiece of the system is an interactive whiteboard connector, which magnetically attaches to any whiteboard or surface and, through the use of patented stylus (think computer-linked pen), allows teachers to access anything on their computers and manipulate it on the board. The tool comes stock with thousands of images, including projections of money, geographic shapes and maps that also can be manipulated with the stylus, according to Dymo/Mimio.

"Think about how powerful it would be to have the planets (on a white board) and seeing how they move around the sun, and how they move around the earth," Amend said as an example of the new technology's usefulness, especially for the 65 children in Mountain View's deaf and hard-of-hearing program. "You're getting more of the senses. You're touching, you're seeing."

Glover, who helped draft the grant proposal, called the new systems "so cool," and said it will help her students see what she is doing on the board without her being in the way. She said she is excited, because the system also allows teachers to save all data on a board to keep for use in future lessons or to send to other classes to compare and contrast work done by other students, a huge piece of performing science experiments.

"Once the kids get using it, they'll be a force," Glover said. "Because it's net-linked, you can virtually do anything."

The 10 systems have been assigned to classrooms based on applications teachers filed with Amend. The first four go to teachers who worked on the grant-- Glover, her fellow deaf and hard-of-hearing teacher, Elaina Cascini, and fifth-grade teachers Bob Hedge and Isaac Valdez. The remaining six have been assigned to one class from each of Mountain View's six remaining grade levels, preschool through fourth grade.

School officially begins at Mountain View on Aug. 22.

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