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Retired At Five – Traveling With Grandma (Retirees)

It was ever so long ago, but I remember it very, very clearly. The jumper that was a hand-me-down from my sister (but I loved it), the hair all done up (Mom made me look so beautiful), and the moment in time was captured by a photo (my Daddy loved me). It was the first day of kindergarten. Boy, was I excited! This was the big leagues!

I remember the excitement that I felt as I went off to begin my lifetime of learning. I knew, even then, that it didn’t get any better than that. Learn, learn, learn! Books, books, books! Little did I know then, that the excitement of learning was a thrill that would never leave me. I still get that same feeling whenever I learn something new. The smell of a book is still one of my favorite smells.

I was thinking about this little girl as I was sharing Twitter and Facebook messages with Tanya Jacobucci. Tanya is the lovely wife of my nephew Justin. (You remember Justin, don’t you? He’s my artist extraordinaire, that created my new blog header!) Tanya is a kindergarten teacher in Clearwater, Kansas. She also has a passion for digital media and understands how important it is to incorporate digital teaching tools into the classroom. The love of learning when you are five years old hasn’t changed, but the tools we have to learn from certainly have.

Do you remember the excitement of being in school and learning about the mountains, the ocean, the Grand Canyon? How fascinating it was to see the pictures in the text books and encyclopedias! (Anyone remember Childcraft books? Loved them! Our editions had these fabulous orange hard covers that had a unique book smell all their own!) Now, imagine how magical it would be as a five year old learning about these mysterious places, if you got to talk to someone while they are vacationing on the beach, or as they were visiting a mountain lodge? What if you could not only talk to them, but you could see them through the connection of camera and computer? What an amazing experience that would be! Would it make it more real for you? Would you remember more of what you were hearing, seeing, feeling and learning? You bet!

Tanya is trying to bring this experience to her wonderful students in Clearwater, Kansas. Tanya has registered to win a WAT Microgrant for Digital Learning, sponsored by Dell. Her dream is to bring these great learning experiences to her classroom. Her vision is to put a video camera in the hands of retired teachers, and have them share their experiences with her students.

When asked about her project, Tanya tells us:

The retirees will use a video camera to show our students where they are at, as well as significant landmarks, places of history, climate, cultures, and other characteristics of the area. The video camera will be a way to see what the former teachers are experiencing. For instance, when we are learning about the beach, our retirees can virtually take us to the beach instead of us imagining what it might look like. We can take the journey with them and actually see the states with our eyes instead of on a map.

What a amazing idea! But, in order to do this, she needs your help. There is a voting system to determine who will be awarded these microgrants. The top 10 teachers with the most votes will win $200 and a Flip Video camera to help kick-off or offset costs for a digital learning educational project. I am shamelessly asking you to help her and give her a vote!

You can help Tanya’s students by going to We Are Teachers and placing your vote. Let’s share our hearts with these bright young minds. Let’s be a part of creating their fantastic memories and give them a start towards a lifetime love of learning. Thank you, thank you!

Posted in kindergarteners, love of learning, retired teachers, video camera in the classroom.


One Response

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  1. the Better Sister says

    Hey, Barb, I'm always astounded by your writing ability! Must have been all that reading from the ChildCraft books. And you are so right, they do have a smell all their own. (And guess who has those now?) Hhm, I wonder if they're considered antiques…

    Love ya! Oh, BTW, I voted for Tanya. What a great idea!



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