MUSCATINE – In October 2020, the Internet2 Community Anchor Program (CAP) announced a distance learning scholarship program to K-12 teachers. This program would allow teachers to receive a one-on-one distance learning program for their class from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC).
Last week, kindergarten teacher Lisa Seaba at Jefferson Elementary was one of 38 teachers who were selected to receive the scholarship.
“I had no idea I would win,” Seaba said, “It really came as a total surprise.”
Seaba has been a teacher in the Muscatine Community School District for 17 years. Currently, she teaches Title I reading at Jefferson, and was asked to serve as a virtual kindergarten teacher for this school year. She has 18 students in her virtual class from all over the district, not just from Jefferson.
“When this scholarship appeared, I thought it would be a good opportunity to provide real world experiences in a virtual learning environment,” Seaba continued, “The children need experiences like field trips to build their background knowledge and information, so I thought (this scholarship) would be worth a try.”
When asked why Seaba was selected as one of the recipients, CAP Director Stephanie Stenberg said, “We specifically selected Ms. Seaba as one of the recipients because it’s clear from her application that she is dedicated to using the internet to expand her Kindergarten students’ world to teach them about animals in unique and engaging ways.
With her scholarship, Seaba will be able to take her class on a virtual field trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to observe different animals, learn about their characteristics and how biology helps them survive in their environment.
Already planning ahead, Seaba said she hoped she and her class could also take a virtual tour of an aquarium to complement their unit on whales.
“We hope Ms. Seaba’s kindergarteners are delighted to meet real animals that bring this subject matter to life,” Stenberg said. She added that she and her team at CAP hope the scholarship inspires Seaba to continue using their virtual field trips and other distance learning opportunities to both teach her students and give them fun experiences.
“We plan to follow up with Ms. Seaba to hear how the virtual field trip went and feature her in a story to showcase the wonderful educational opportunities students have when bandwidth is not a barrier,” Stenberg said.
Teachers from across Iowa as well as Illinois, Kansas, Connecticut, New York, Ohio and Oklahoma were also given CILC scholarships, and will be able to choose from over 1,900 programs for their class. It is expected that over 1,600 students will benefit from these scholarships.
To learn more about the Internet2 CAP program, visit https://internet2.edu/k12curriculumresources.