Connie D. Perkins is currently a first grade teacher in Fayette County Schools and has been teaching for over 26 years. Perkins has a Reading Specialist Degree that has allowed her to teach one-on-one reading with students who needed the help. She also taught Early Intervention Program (EIP) curriculum for reading two years, and Perkins mentioned that she “has worked a lot with children who struggle in reading.”
With the many years of teaching experience in early education, Perkins stated that she has seen a major difference in the way that children grasp reading and math skills over the years. She remembers when they would use flash cards to learn new concepts and how it would take weeks for them to master the concepts, and now those same skills when applied from the iPad or the computer are learned “just like that,” she continued. Perkins stated that the children “love iPads in their classroom!” She utilizes the iPad to introduce and reinforce the lessons they will be doing throughout the week. “The children now have access to the reading book and all the skills we do in class. They can go home and do it online,” says Perkins. “They think it’s a big deal to be able to go ahead of us or read extra books related to the class lessons while at home.”
Perkins finished by saying that she could see the schools “doing away with textbooks and going digital someday,” believing that students will think “outside the box when manipulating tools on digital technology.”
Heather Cox has been a fourth grade teacher and leader of technology in Fulton County Schools for the past 10 years. Upon gaining employment with Fulton Schools, Cox said that she became a “leadership member and any other kind of committee member that had anything to do with technology.” This included the Inaugural Technology Leadership Forum for Fulton County Schools where she helped to launch the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Pilot Program in her school. Though she initially met resistance, she eventually helped everyone to understand what the program was really about.
Cox stated that last year while on her professional Twitter page, she saw an article that was linked to the nomination form for the White House Champions of Change Program for ConnectEd Leaders. After she read over the description, she sent an email to her students’ parents to see if they would nominate her. To her surprise, Cox heard back from the White House a few months later saying that she had “like 20 nominations,” so they wanted to get a little more information about her. From there, Cox was chosen to be 1 of the 10 people who would be honored as a ConnectEd Leader in the White House Champions of Change Program. Cox said that it was incredible to go and get to meet other ConnectEd Educators and it happened “all through the power of Twitter.”