Special Education Teacher Jessica Young is hoping with the public’s help that she soon will be able to get her eighth grade students at Halifax County Middle School on the right technology level and to take learning outside the classroom walls.
Her “Google on the Go for This SPED Teacher!” campaign on DonorsChoose.org is asking for $1,208 for a Google Pixelbook and accessories.
Specifically donations will go toward a Google Pixelbook, a Google Pixelbook Pen, a charger, a hard shell case, a screen protector and a keyboard cover skin.
“With this Google Pixelbook, I could use it as a screen or smart board and take a small group to any location and do a mini lesson without having to worry about losing instructional time trying to turn on and log in to a device that may or may not be working,” said Young.
“I could take my science class outside for a lesson and be able to take our devices without thinking twice. This device will literally help me take my class to the next level,” she said.
As a special education teacher in a school that she said has embraced inclusion to the fullest extent, her students come to her with “some of the very best and some of the very worst backgrounds you can imagine.
“Some of them could teach my class, and some of them struggle to decode simple words,” said Young. “All of my students come to me with so much potential that you can almost see it seeping out of their pores; unfortunately, many of them don’t have the desire to shine to their fullest potential, and I want to unlock that potential.”
She considers middle school a “particularly difficult time,” because she feels students lack motivation, because they no longer have the desire to impress their teacher as they did in elementary school, and she feels they lack the desire for true independence that comes in high school.
“For this reason, getting middle schoolers excited about anything, especially academics-related, is especially difficult,” said Young.
The school system already has given every student in Halifax County Public Schools access to Chromebooks, and students in secondary schools get to take theirs home.
But Young said there’s a gap between “the technology in their hands and the technology in the classrooms.”
Her students already have flexible seating thanks to a previous campaign with Donors Choose, which allows them to move around with their devices to collaborate and spread out to work, but teachers, she said, are “still tethered to their desktops.”
“I enjoy interacting with my students and moving around the room during a lesson, but if I’m using technology, that often means I’m dragging around a mouse and keyboard with me, which often gets misplaced in the process,” said Young.
She also spends the majority of her day in another teacher’s classroom with no access to a working computer.
This device would give her the “opportunity to meet the students on their level with technology and be able to access class websites, educational games and tools, examples, visuals, grades, student information, contact parents and principals if needed, and so much more without leaving my students’ sides.”
To donate, visit www.donorschoose.org and search for “Google on the Go for This SPED Teacher!”
Young will only receive her materials if this project is fully funded by Jan. 27.
Founded in 2000 by a Bronx history teacher, DonorsChoose.org has raised $486,931,302 for America’s classrooms.
DonorsChoose.org is the only crowd funding platform that vets each request, delivers materials directly to schools and captures the impact of every funded project with photos, thank yous and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent.
In 2014, DonorsChoose.org made the top 10 of Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, the first time a charity has received such recognition.