Onondaga Central School District
Nancy works at Rockwell Elementary in the Onondaga Central School District as a Reading Teacher. She has been working at OCS since 2002 as an elementary teacher and in December 2012, she became the reading teacher at Rockwell Elementray School. Nancy is a 1996 SUNY Cortland graduate where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Reading.
What are some of the innovative ways you are integrating technology into your curriculum?
Teaching Reading at the primary level, Nancy has often found it challenging for her students to commit "high-frequency words" to memory. In the past, she had made flash cards and PowerPoint slides to help her students master the skill. PowerPoint slides would be posted to her SchoolWorld Teacher Page to foster a home-school connection and help families practice at home. She has always stressed to the parents, however, to monitor their children's practice closely so the children would not commit the wrong word to memory. One day, a colleague shared with her a technology tool that would transform Nancy's lessons...Voki. It proved to be the perfect tool to help her students learn their high-frequency words and ensure that they were reading them correctly. She has painstakingly made dozens of Vokis for her Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students, with individual avatars reading each of the words. Once published, the Vokis are embedded on her Teacher Page in a well-organized chart to help the studets practice from home.
How have students benefitted from your technology integration initiatives?
The students love using the Vokis. There is a baby Voki that gives them the directions at the beginning of each page. The children can then choose from many different characters, read the word, and then play the Voki to hear if they read it correctly. The children can make sure they are reading the words correctly while having fun looking at all the silly characters as the eyes of the avatars follow the cursor and the mouths open and close as the avatar reads aloud. This tool helped Nancy achieve her goal of supporting literacy skills beyond the time and space of her classroom.