GRPS teacher leads the way with ‘Innovation Classroom’

Posted at 11:55 PM, Feb 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 00:02:19-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -  A Grand Rapids teacher has created a website to help other teachers all over the world integrate technology into their classrooms.

We first introduced you to Heather Gauck and her mission in September of 2016.

At that point, the Resource Teacher at Harrison Park Elementary  School had just received a $40,000 grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to make her project a reality.

Gauck said, “It felt pretty amazing, it made me realize that this didn’t just have to be an idea in my head.”

Now, after years of hard work, that idea is up and running, in the form of a one-stop-shop website:

“You could search language arts, perhaps a grade level, and then have a video pop up that you could watch in ten minutes or less, and it turned out being five minutes or less,” said Gauck.

Teachers all over the world can log on, choose from 24 lesson demo videos from other teachers, ranging in subject and grade level, and then bring that lesson to life in their own classroom.

For example, one video walks teachers through an introduction into coding lesson, using the app ‘Bitsbox.’

According to Gauck, students need skills like this now more than ever.

“Technology is all over the place and it’s not going away, and we really need our students to be educated in being able to use that,” she said.

She added, learning new tech also keeps kids interested.

“They’re engaged in their learning, they’re enjoying it, it’s just something different along with this is the way our society is.”

Another goal is to connect teachers from all over the globe.

Gauck said, “That’s our main objective is to create a community of teachers who are using technology to push our students.”

Gauck tells  FOX 17 that the entire process has taught her a huge lesson in perseverance and she can’t wait to start pushing for phase two, which will include adding more lessons as well as working with Pre-teaching students at Grand Valley State University.