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Technology Showcases Spotlight Western Elementary Ed Tech at the Library of Congress

By Andra Brichacek
Six horse-loving fifth graders at Western Elementary School in Lexington, Kentucky, were so thrilled that the World Equestrian Games are coming to their hometown in 2010—the first time the games have been hosted in the United States—that they couldn’t wait to share it with other kids their age. And what better way, they thought, than technology? 
Ivy O’Shaughnessy, Brooklyn Holler, Adrienne Reveal, Ally Blythe and two of their classmates, with the help of Kentucky’s Student Technology Leadership Program, have been broadcasting their knowledge to kids around the world through videoconferencing all year and will broadcast live from the games as student ambassadors.
“We each have our own event that we know all about,” said Reveal, 10. “I
write my own script about the event and put it onto Adobe Video Communicator,
and then we have to find virtual backgrounds on the Internet to put behind us and post the video.” 

ISTE Affiliate the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) selected “A Horse by Any Other Name” as its technology showcase for ISTE’s 21st-Century Learning with Technology Reception, held Tuesday at the Library of Congress. ISTE invited all Affiliates to submit ed tech programs  demonstrating outstanding learning and teaching using technology and mastery of the NETS·S.  

State showcases included both professional development and student-created projects with themes ranging from educational websites about the Iditarod and honoring military veterans to tools for teaching Earth systems to middle schoolers. “Members of Congress aren’t coming to NECC, so we brought NECC to the Hill to highlight what’s happening across the country to key decision makers,” said Hilary Goldmann, ISTE’s director of government affairs. 

Nearly 750 attendees—including Hill staffers and ISTE members who came to the Library following Tuesday’s Hill visits—circulated the mezzanine in the Thomas Jefferson
Building to view the state showcases, displayed alongside the historic documents and books housed on the Library’s shelves. The Library also officially rolled out its new Teaching with Primary Sources program, which makes its collection of digitized primary sources available to teachers, to the roomful of NECC attendees at the reception. “The Library’s education focus is to share primary resources with teachers, students and lifelong learners,” said Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives. “And the Internet gave us the opportunity to provide our information to everyone for free.” Following the reception, ISTE hosted an open house for the public to join the ISTE invitees as they browsed through the technology showcases as well as the interactive exhibits in the reading rooms and Thomas Jefferson Library.

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