Innovation in Education: Meet Heidi Weber
February is digital learning month in Loveland, so we are introducing you to dynamic teachers who know how to put technology to work to enhance education for students
Heidi Weber has worked in the Loveland City School District 14 years; she currently teaches third grade English and language arts at Loveland Elementary School (LES).
Step inside Weber’s room and you may not immediately notice the teacher’s aide – rather, all five of them. They are stationed neatly along a back table all their own: iPads.
“I wanted my students to be exposed to technology early on, so I purchased the iPads myself and set up the station for student and classroom use,” explained Weber. “Each week my students rotate to different literacy activities in my classroom, and the iPad table is one of those stations; we utilize learning apps for spelling and reading lessons.”
Weber’s use of technology goes beyond the iPad; she secured a grant to pay for a Smartboard and document camera. The Smartboard allows students to become involved with a lesson through interaction; they can move and manipulate items on the board, making it much more engaging than a regular white board.
“I can use the Smartboard to model, demonstrate and teach, and the students can use it independently to practice concepts on their own,” said Weber. “The document camera allows me to project any item onto the board. This is perfect for allowing students to share work they have written as we provide helpful feedback and revise the work together.
“I see the benefit of using the technology because it is an extension of me; it provides me more opportunity to enhance what they are doing,” said Weber. "Plus, it is very motivating for the students – especially the iPads. They see the iPad as a privilege, and really make the most out of the opportunity to use it.”
Weber has been instructing outside her classroom to train other Loveland teachers on how to best utilize the iPad technology for student learning; she conducted a training seminar on best practices during a recent inservice.
Want to check out some of Weber’s favorite instructional apps? Search for: Boggle for iPad, Grammar Wonderland, Simplex Spelling, Word Wizard, Shake-a-phrase and Sparklefish.
You can also find additional technology learning tips by visiting Weber’s teacher blog at http://sheltonweber3rd.wordpress.com/.