Intel program brings Arizona teachers up to date on technology

March 16, 2010

By hammersmith

Intel program brings Arizona teachers up to date on technology

Luci Scott, Arizona Republic, March 9, 2010


The father of a student at Galveston Elementary School in Chandler needed to write a letter, but he didn’t know how to use a computer.


The family didn’t have a computer at home.


So, with the blessing of the school, they visited Galveston when classes weren’t in session, and the child showed his father how to write the letter. The child is a first-grader.


“School computers are available to parents, who learn from their children,” said Allison Davis, the child’s teacher.


“It’s neat to see a 6-year-old teach a parent how to write a letter on Word.”


Davis herself brushed up her skills on the Word software through a wide-ranging program by Chandler microchip manufacturer Intel, called Intel Teach.


The program helps teachers enhance learning through the use of technology with a focus on developing 21st-century skills.


Intel helps the Arizona Department of Education create a core group of trainers, who in turn train other teachers in technology and methods. Intel has provided the initial training, ongoing updated curriculum and funding as well as consulting with administrators.


There are currently 66 school districts in Arizona involved with the program. At one time, there were more than 100.


Davis, who took the training several years ago, learned more about Word, Publisher and PowerPoint software and was introduced to Movie Maker.


Each quarter, Davis tries to do a big project in science or social studies, and the Intel training showed her how to set up a unit and plan long term “so as not to crunch everything into two days,” she said.


The training went beyond nuts and bolts, and gave her inspiration.


“It piqued my curiosity about how to use technology effectively to make students be engaged and be more curious,” she said.


“I keep wanting to learn more; the training was kind of like a spark.”


Her first-graders are so savvy with technology that they made a movie on desert animals.


The Intel Teach program was recently honored by the National Governors Association with a Public-Private Partnership Award.


Since the beginning of Intel Teach almost 10 years ago, more than 17,500 Arizona educators have participated in professional development, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in an association news release.


“This effective program has been designated as one of the state’s key initiatives for increasing the use of educational technology in Arizona classrooms,” Brewer said.


The initial training was not the end of Davis’ contact with Intel. Employees stay at the ready for teachers’ questions.


“Intel volunteers work with us; they’re fabulous people who really want to help children in the schools,” Davis said.


“It’s neat that teachers and engineers can work together to make sure students will be ready to go into math, science and technology.”