Innovative Educational Program: 7th Grade Social Studies

Posted on June 2, 2014, in Academics

Matthew Laser and Kathleen Bakka were two of the six recipients to receive the William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program Grant in March. The James W. Parker Middle School teachers will use this grant to purchase an Apple TV for the social studies classroom.  

According to Bakka, the grant money will be used to purchase an Apple TV for the classroom in order to allow the students to share their work and examples from their iPad with the entire class.  It will also be used to purchase some tripods and iPad Tripod Mounts that will allow students to film and create works within the classroom more easily.

The iPad program within JWPMS gives students an incredible opportunity to create and discover the greater world in which they live. These also provides students with the opportunity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information from non-fiction txt, a skill that is a major emphasis of the Common Core.

However, the iPad limits the class sharing different works and ideas. Through the concept of AirPlay with the Apple TV, Bakka expects students to be able to share their research and creations with the classroom in a matter of seconds.

“By doing this I am able to open the world to my students. Instead of just talking about these things that many of them probably will not experience, I am able to bring the world within the confines of the classroom walls,” Bakka said. “By being able to see these images and discover the stories and meaning behind them, it will allow the students to open their minds and become better global citizens.”

The grant stems from former James W. Parker Middle School math teacher Bill Smith and his wife, Mary. These classroom grants provide middle school teachers with up to $500 for special projects/activities/enhancements. The remaining three projects will be shared over the next few weeks.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.

To learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit