Manteca class wins $78k in tech from video contest

The fifth-graders in Lincoln Elementary’s Room 9 in Manteca will be unpacking $78,379 in educational technology, won from an online contest through einstruction — the only California school in contention in the finals.

Tammy Dunbar’s class won with a 2½-minute class-scripted and produced video called “The Room Nine Kids,” which they sung to the tune of “Billionaire.” The tech work included laying down the soundtrack with GarageBand and creating visuals using a Flip video camera, a Sony SureShot, Photoshop, PhotoBooth and Crazy Talk, according to the contest Web site. Online voting counted for the rest.

Dunbar said she organized the work of creating the entry into high-energy language arts lessons and training in technology.

“We learned how hard it was to do all that (technical editing) work. We thought it would be easy,” said Valysha Ouk, 10.

Among the things students will be pulling out of boxes, Dunbar told the class, are a class set of answer-relaying “clickers” and several mobile interactive whiteboards.

“It won’t change how I teach — it’ll change how I grade. It’ll make assessments faster,” Dunbar said. “But it won’t change teaching — how I teach changes by every student, every grade.”

Some of the prizes are strictly for her classroom, like a Calypso sound system that will be installed in the walls. Others will help the whole school, like multi-grade math, reading, writing and arts applications software with schoolwide site licenses.

“It acts as a huge motivator for kids who have grown up with all the bells and whistles,” said Cheryl Meeker, the district’s head of elementary education. “We’re all for technology.”