(Almost) all our content from 2006 to 2017 is archived and available online under a Creative Commons license. Please read this post from June 2018 for more background and updates about our conference and current status.
2006- Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles”Cultivating Digital Educators”

Frieda Foxworth
Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Blog: http://friedafoxworth.edublogs.org/ 

Ron Bosch 
Lexington, South Carolina, USA

John Geanangel
Lexington, South Carolina, USA

Presentation Title
“Cultivating Digital Educators”

Frieda Foxworth and Ron Bosch are fifth grade teachers at Red Bank Elementary School. They are partner teachers in a technology-enriched classroom. Their class, the 21st Century Classroom, was begun as a pilot program in their district in 2003. John Geanangel has been their Technology Integration Specialist since 2002. Their school now has 5 similar 2 to 1 computing classrooms in a program called Global Horizons. They have overcome many challenges and continue to work through new ones as they have worked to create a culture of digital educators. They have given presentations about our program at district, state, and national levels.

How do you transform a traditional school environment into one where teachers effectively use technology for collaboration, curriculum development, instructional delivery, and student engagement? It doesn’t happen overnight, and many challenges must be overcome. Changes must be made in the pedagogical attitudes of both administrators and teachers. Necessary equipment must be secured within the realm of limited budgets. Educators must be transformed from lone workers on an island into contributing members of a collaborative community. Instructional practices must shift to keep pace with the daily changes occurring in the global digital world. This presentation will share how these obstacles have been overcome, and how transformation is taking place at one elementary school. Vision and leadership have paved the way for teachers to embrace radical change that is occurring through the taking of many ‘baby steps.’ Web 2.0 tools have played an important role in this process. A wiki was used to develop the Global Horizons Technology Initiative, a plan for creating classrooms committed to technology-integrated instructional practices. Wikis have also been used by teachers for grade-level collaborative planning and by students for writing stories online with a partner. Blogs are beginning to be used for staff development, as a parent communication tool, and for the delivery of some instructional activities. Students are learning to use a blog as a way to reflect on learning. A podcast will be used to make this presentation and will include samples of the solutions listed above.




  1. Dean Shareski

    Thank you for telling your story. Your panel conversation approach worked well and you also portray how an entire school can move towards effective classroom practice.

    Freida, feel free to contact me about connecting with a grade 5 class….I can put you in touch with some classrooms that may be interested in collaboration.

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  4. Marie Watson

    I agree with you that we are in the midst of a mammoth cultural evolution and revolution in technology. I think that as we become more sophisticated with technology, we also have more responsibility. The dichotomy that exists in society today is, at the present, amplified with technology. In schools, we have the opportunity to provide students with equalization through technology. It can narrow the gap between those who have access in the homes and those who do not.

    At the same time, the values held by people can be amplified through technology. We can live longer, learn faster, ask more questions, go to places in our minds and bodies through technology more than ever before in history. Technolgy can also be utilized to stalk, terrorize, and abuse others.

    This is where responsibility plays into the role of teaching and learning with technology. Students are exposed to events as they happen and view violence and tragedy in such ways that they are de-sensitized to humanness. So many of them are in homes where drug abuse, sexual abuse, harsh language, and crimes are a way of life.

    For our students today, technology is nothing new, though it is ever new. The constant change, new technologies, and availability are ordinary. Our responsibility as educators is never more challenging than today, nor more exciting. Through technology, we can level the playing ground, open the eyes of students to the plight of others around the world, and teach them to think, to inquire, and to look inward and outward to make this a better world.

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