Community putting Clear Touch Interactive Boards in every classroom

HARLAN — Along with the new building underway at the Harlan Community schools, new resources are also arriving to help educators continue to update and improve every day within the walls. Made possible by the generous donations of the community, the Harlan Education Foundation has raised $65,000 to purchase 25 out of the 50 Clear Touch interactive boards. The foundation continues to raise funds so that each teacher can have one placed in their classroom.
Corey Jansen, president of Essentia Proteins, moved $25,000 to the project, stating, "We were happy to be involved with this important initiative to help bring new technology and opportunities to Harlan schools. Education is the cornerstone of a bright future, and we greatly value our partnership with the community of Harlan both today and into the future."
The Harlan Education Foundation is an organization with a mission “to ensure that the schools receive the necessary financial support to enhance their educational programs.”
Kay Goshorn, an instructional coach at the elementary, has spearheaded the fundraising, and already about half of the teachers have their hands on this huge educational tool in large thanks to community members and local businesses: Farmers Trust and Saving Bank, Goshorn Seed & Ag Supply, Shelby County State Bank, United Bank of Iowa, Farm Credit, Kirkman Farms, The Agency, FMCTC, and Essentia.
The boards cost $2,500 each, and many businesses donated to purchase one board. Essentia provided a total of 10 boards to the schools, Gohorn Seed donated 5, Shelby County State Bank gave 4, and FMCTC gave 2.
Goshorn stated, "The technology currently used in our classrooms is outdated and doesn't allow students to be active participants in their learning. Once the Education Foundation realized the need, they easily made the decision to make this happen as quickly as possible. Businesses and individuals in our community have not hesitated to make this initiative a reality for our teachers and students."
Clear Touch interactive boards integrate with computers or they can operate independently.  The boards do not come alone, as they connect to thousands of already built instructional materials in the Clear Touch Community. There is a learning curve, but educators, sometimes led by enthusiastic and fearless students, have enjoyed the capabilities. Teachers are eager to discover helpful tools and interactive activities as well as be able to make their own.
"They allow for collaborative learning, which is in sync with our world today. With the use of these boards, I see students taking an active role in the lessons and in their learning. They aren't simply sitting and taking in information. They get to be an active participant, even as they're taking on new information," Goshorn shared.
Amber Nicholson has already made this vision a reality in her high school math classes. She was skeptical of what the upgrade offered when they traded her old smartboard out with the Clear Touch. Nicholson has her students experience learning by teaching with students presenting their research on math projects, such as slopes in real life. Working with the Clear Touch boards, students demonstrate not only their knowledge, but also their creativity and mastery of projects. "My students love using it any time I let them," she said.
Lindsey Vorm has also seen excitement come to her second classroom. "The Clear Touch has brought student engagement to a whole new level. The Clear Touch is opening up a new realm of possibilities by extending lessons in a way we were unable to do before. Teachers are collaborating daily on various ways to incorporate the Clear Touch into the classrooms."
Email or call the school and ask to talk to Kay Goshorn to learn more about helping to reach the goal to bring boards for every classroom. Clear change is underway at the Harlan Community School District to update and improve the learning environment both inside and out.




Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

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