Badger Clark Elementary teacher Heidi Coffin was named a 2016 PBS digital innovator for her work with first-grade students from Box Elder and Ellsworth Air Force Base, just east of Rapid City.

“They’re digital natives,” Coffin told South Dakota Public Broadcasting. “Their minds work digitally. The technology helps them dive deeper and reach those higher order thinking skills to be able to succeed.”

Coffin incorporates media and technology into every lesson. The first-graders use iPads for phonics lessons, spelling tests and reading. They often use research databases, document cameras and upload photos and videos online. She uses a class website in order to see everyone’s work and generate discussion in the classroom, as well as inform parents about the class.

For being named a digital innovator, Coffin will receive one year of professional development from PBS.

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