Earlier this summer we ran a contest asking teachers to imagine how they could use Subtext as a tool to engage and inspire their students. For the grand prize, we decided to give away a classroom set of 10 iPads to help the teacher who submitted our favorite answer bring her ideas to life. After receiving 400+ submissions from teachers across the country, we are excited to share our official winner:
Amy Gambino, Charter School for Applied Technologies, Buffalo, NY
Amy was thrilled to learn that her classroom will be receiving a set of ten iPads just in time for the Fall 2012 school year and says that she “can’t wait to introduce Subtext in [her] classroom this year.” We loved Amy’s thoughtful and creative plan for using Subtext in her classroom. Here is her full entry:
“I would use Subtext in several ways in my classroom. First, as a full-class teaching tool, I would use Subtext to allow students across classes to have conversations about books. We have blogged about themes or important ideas using quotes from books, but I think it would be amazing to see what other students said and respond while you are actually reading.
The new Common Core Standards put an emphasis on close reading of a text and Subtext would be perfect to implement and reinforce this skill.
I would also use it for my struggling students to pre-annotate a book for them — providing clarification and guiding questions. This would help them to get the information at the exact moment they need it.
Many times my advanced students independently read additional books, but rarely can I make time to fully analyze a book with them. With Subtext they would be able to share their thoughts and analysis with each other and I could look at their comments and provide insights and guidance of my own.”
Other Entries We Loved
While we initially planned to only award one prize for the contest, we were so blown away by the number of well-written and creative entries that we decided to recognize a couple of the finalists as well. These teachers will each receive a $200 donation to their classroom funds to help them purchase school supplies or support classroom activities. Here are our official picks for finalists:
“If I had the Subtext technology in my classroom I would concentrate on making learning collaborative and interactive. I have been looking for a way to have students interact with texts in a more meaningful way. With the Common Core Standards looming, I have been working hard to push our curriculum to read texts that the students will encounter in the 21st century while still remaining true to the content our district supports. A unit that I have been putting off teaching because of a lack of technology is the integration of technology and classical novels. Subtext is exactly what I have been looking for from a technological standpoint. Sometimes classics seem tired and boring to students even if the concepts are fascinating. Using Subtext would allow me to integrate content tightly with online resources including YouTube videos, modern images, links, and other content. This would give my students the opportunity to see that learning is not actually about “siloing” information between contents but it is about integration of information. This to me is the essential aspect missing in so many schools.”
“I have to have this app. I currently do all of these things using computers and Edmodo. With iPads and Subtext, I could take my gifted students to places we’ve only imagined. I can download books and add literature circle responses. I can add quick checks for understanding and allow the students to share their thoughts quickly and privately. They can ask questions without feeling embarrassed that they aren’t understanding the real meaning of the book. The endless possibilities: I could have each small group do a book study and then share their information and thoughts. I could have students interact with other gifted students around the county in book talks. I’d make sure that they never are left unused.”
Congratulations to all of our winners and a special thanks to everyone who took the time to submit an entry!