School budgets only go so far. That’s why many schools rely on their community to help them achieve the goals of giving students the best education possible. That is true of W.A. Wright Elementary, whose kindergarten teachers recently received a donation to purchase an interactive tool in their classroom. It is called the Elmo TT-12.
“It has lit a spark in us,” said Kindergarten Teacher Heather Lounsbury.
The applications of the Elmo, which is in no way related to the Sesame Street character, can be used for many different reasons.
Essentially, it is an interactive document camera. Like an overhead, it projects something onto the teacher’s screen, but it is also interactive. A teacher can put a worksheet on the screen, and write on a separate tablet and it will show up on screen. The tablet can be carried around the room so teachers can be amongst their students while they are working on things. If a student has a question, the teacher is right there to help, and can still work on the overhead project. It also has the ability to connect to their computer to play a short educational YouTube video.
“It’s another way to keep them engaged,” said Kindergarten Teacher Clarissa Childress. Childress said the kids are enthralled with the Elmo, and it has totally grabbed their attention. The Elmo TT-12 is not easy on the wallet. With all the cables and things that it needs, the cost approaches $1,000. That is obviously something the school system couldn’t afford, so in stepped David L.W. Thomas.
Thomas, President/Chief Manager of PowerTek, LLC, donated the money for all five kindergarten teachers to have the Elmos. In addition to Lounsbury and Childress, Kindergarten Teachers Angela Smith, Sherry Allen and Jeanene Randolph also received the Elmo TT-12s. “Our school system doesn’t really have this technology,” said Thomas. “This is pretty cutting edge.”
The teachers also got an afternoon of training for the device. “Without that training, we would have been lost,” said Kindergarten Teacher Angela Smith.
Thomas hopes that it will inspire other individuals and businesses to invest in their schools. “It takes everybody’s help,” said Thomas.