Inner-city schools shine in technology competition
ALLMAN Town Primary School and Windward Road Primary & Junior High School are the inaugural champions in the Flow In My School Technology Competition.
The announcement of their victory was made last Thursday at an awards ceremony at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.
The two winning schools each received grand prizes of 16 All-In-One Hewlett Packard desktop computers, 10 Hewlett Packard Slate tablets, two Hewlett Packard laptops and two Mimio Electronic Whiteboards. Both schools competed amongst 14 other schools islandwide, who were short-listed after entering late last year.
Kandi Lee Crooks-Smith, principal, Allman Town Primary School, was extremely excited after the announcement of her school's victory in the primary level category.
"At the launch, I received a flyer that said 'Your school could win!' [With] that, I crossed out the word 'could' and I wrote 'will' because I knew we would," the elated principal told TEENage after her victory.
"As limited as the technology we used was, we knew that our students interacted with it well, and we realised that we stood a very good chance of winning," she added.
The competition was launched in September 2012 to demonstrate and encourage the use of technology in school.
Norman Malcolm, principal of Windward Road Primary & Junior High School, winners for the secondary level category, was equally elated.
Malcolm told TEENage that the prizes they won would be a major boost to the technological facilities at the school.
"We are working on a special project to make technology available, in the form of computers and laptops, to all 39 classrooms," Malcolm said.
"Flow has provided Internet to the entire school and now that we have some of the computers and tablets, we can definitely incorporate them in our teaching methods. We recently acquired a multimedia projector and currently our students line up to use it. Now we are trying to equip a multi-purpose room with a computer and other audio-visual software that will facilitate presentations or other classes catering to literacy and numeracy," he added.
Also walking away with prizes were Meadowbrook High School and Corinaldi Avenue Primary School; both winners of the Viewers' Choice Award. Having received the highest votes from Facebook users, who were asked to vote for their favourite entries, both schools received cash prizes and a 32" Samsung Smart television set each.
St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Campion College, Angels Primary School, and Braeton Primary & Junior High School also received special awards.
STETHS and Campion College shared the honours for The Most Innovative Schools. Teachers from Angels Primary School, and Braeton Primary & Junior High School, Tameka Thomas-Mills and Nickie Ann Cespedies, respectively were crowned as the most innovative.
Denise Williams, director of corporate communication at Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operators of Flow & Columbus Business Solutions, organisers of the competition, congratulated all the winners of the competition.
"When we launched this initiative, two months ago, we knew we were going to see some exciting and innovative ideas coming out of our schools, however, we were very impressed when we saw the level of commitment and dedication of both teachers and students to harnessing positive results through the use of technology," Williams said at the awards ceremony.
"The Flow In My School Technology Competition is an excellent example of engaging, encouraging and motivating teachers and students to use technology, not only for consumption, but more importantly, to create and innovate. Microsoft's mission in education is to help students and educators throughout the world realise their full potential. Our commitment is to the success of each educator and student. That is why we were excited and happy for the opportunity to partner with Flow," said Queenie Ko, Microsoft's education sector manager for the West Indies.
The Flow In My Competition is one of several initiatives under the Building Leaders Through Technology programme, to enhance schools' teaching and learning environments.
More than 140 schools currently benefit from free cable and Internet services coutesy of Flow, with 13 new schools in Clarendon and St Catherine to be added to the programme before the end of the year.
— Ainsworth Morris