Region 4 ESC inspires digital citizens at Holbrook Elementary

June 24, 2015

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Holbrook Elementary School fourth-grade student George White works with Region 4 Educational Technology Collaborative instructor Kirah Diaz of Lamar Consolidated ISD on a computer application at the Region 4 DigiCamp June 18.

June 24, 2015—Seventeen fourth-grade students from Holbrook Elementary School received hands-on instruction in video production, digital lessons and animation at the Region 4 DigiCamp, hosted by the Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4) June 15-19.

Funded by a grant, the camp was free to the Holbrook students including transportation and lunch, and was the result of an Adopt-a-School partnership formed through CFISD’s community engagement department.

Five members of the Region 4 digital learning solutions team joined eight science teachers from Houston-area school districts—part of the Region 4 Educational Technology Collaborative—to offer the five-day camp in which students were trained in software programs such as Stop Animation, Camtasia, Audacity and Quizmaker.

“You could not believe the growth that these students experienced in one week,” said Kristi Hernandez, Region 4 Digital Learning Solutions director. “We surveyed them for what they knew. Many of them came in with no knowledge, but when we gave them the equipment they caught on so quickly. We were so impressed.”

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Region 4 Educational Technology Collaborative instructor Elizabeth Merritt of Brazosport ISD assists Holbrook fourth-grade students Isabel Gonzalez, left, and Natalia Longoria with their software during the DigiCamp.

Mornings began with an icebreaker and continued with instruction and project work for the various technology components. After lunch, afternoons were geared toward project development and team building. Friday’s camp concluded with project showcases and a certificate presentation to Holbrook’s DigiCampers.

“We invited parents and other Region 4 representatives to the showcase, and had people walking around to each of the stations where students showed their final projects,” Hernandez said. “That’s where you could really see how much they had learned. 

“This was the very first DigiCamp we did and it was a huge success—not only for the amount of learning that happened for students, but also for the staff involved. By the end of the camp, the teachers said they couldn’t wait to get back to their classrooms and show it to their students. We don’t want the students’ learning to stop—we want them to be able to teach fellow students in their school.”

Holbrook librarian Melinda Aviles said she expects precisely that effect when school resumes in the fall.

“The students will be technology leaders on campus next year, sharing their new knowledge with teachers and students,” Aviles said.

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Region 4 Digital Learning Solutions Education Specialist Jackie Nowlin assists Holbrook fourth-grade students Christopher Zarco, left, and Maysen Amaya during the DigiCamp.

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Educational Technology Collaborative instructor Juan Zapata of Galena Park ISD works with Holbrook fourth-grade students Angel Esquivel, left, and Abner Soriano during the DigiCamp at the Region 4 Education Service Center on June 18.

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Region 4 Digital Learning Solutions Education Specialist Jackie Nowlin demonstrates the Quizmaker software for Holbrook Elementary School fourth-grade students during the DigiCamp at the Region 4 ESC on June 18.

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