iEducate Delaware is an initiative of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware recognizing the unsung heroes of public education statewide. These individuals represent a diverse cross section of parents, educators, community leaders, and other inspiring individuals from up and down the state, who are dedicating their time, commitment, and leadership to Delaware’s public schools. Each honoree will receive a $2,000 grant to support his or her work and be honored at the Vision 2015 Fall Conference on October 17th, hosted at the University of Delaware. To learn more, visit www.ieducatedelaware.org.
Town Square Delaware will feature the winning entries from the five honorees selected. The first honoree is Audrey Carey, and her entry appears below:
I became involved in education because I had an excellent role model — my mother — who taught special education for over 35 years. She showed me that teaching was more than instruction, it is about investing in each and every child and treating them like the “gift” they are to the world.
In my work overseeing the Technology Advancing Proficiency in English Language Learners (TAPE) Program for the Indian River school district, I have witnessed teachers become leaders, parents improve communication, and students raise their academic and language proficiencies to prepare for the 21st Century.
TAPE is innovative and unique because technology is the universal language that reaches across language and instructional barriers. The program focuses on English Language Learners in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, and utilizes innovative uses of integrating technology in instruction. The use of iPADS, SMARTboards and PCs provide individualized educational opportunities, and serve as a tool that will promote collaboration and will create interactive learning for English Language Learners.
The program benefits Delaware’s students because while these technological advancements are not an end in themselves, they can serve as effective tools that can enable educators to better serve their student populations.
The most exciting thing others can learn about this approach is that the TAPE grant targets students’ academic growth. Also, teachers began to communicate and take on leadership roles within the grade level, then their building, and then at the district level. They become models for true technology integration in instruction, with a focus on differentiation. The school built a community where parents became more involved in education where language was once a barrier. Parent nights and classroom visits added to the success of community building.
I believe that pushing the envelope means never underestimating students and exploring new and innovative ways to reach ALL students. If our children are the leaders of tomorrow, we need our public education to be excellent.
Audrey Carey, district elementary supervisor of Indian River, oversees the Technology Advancing Proficency in English Language Learners Program (TAPE), which uses technology to meet the needs of on English Language Learners in 2-5th grade. The program integrates iPads, SMARTboards, and PCs so as to provide individualized and interactive educational opportunities.