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Supporting Teacher and Students in Van Meter, IA

Serving over 1,000 PK-12 students in a single building, the Van Meter Community School district in Iowa has committed to helping educators leverage active technology use to support learning goals. Supported by a team of instructional coaches that focuses on building relationships and meeting teachers where they are, teachers are updating lessons to help students build their digital literacy skills and engage more deeply with content. For example, an annual 5th-grade project on the civil rights movement was transformed after students and teachers watched a speech by late civil rights leader Representative John Lewis and learned about his autobiographical black and white graphic novel trilogy about the civil rights movement, March. Inspired by his story, teachers had students use a digital storyboarding tool to create graphic novels about well-known figures in the civil rights movement, which students could share online with their families. By providing teachers with ongoing, job-embedded support, they continue to grow and improve their professional practice.