“Research over the last decade has signaled that the knowledge teachers need to successfully teach with technology extends beyond just knowing how to use a technology. Teachers need to know how technologies can be used to support both the content being learned and the activities used in a lesson,” said Daniel Mourlam, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at USD. “By making this shift in practice, USD is further enhancing the preparation of future teachers in the State of South Dakota and the region.”

The USD students enrolled in TET 200: Technology to Improve Learning course will receive hands-on experience working with third graders at Vermillion’s Jolley Elementary School eight different days over the semester. Each lesson will have a STEM/STREAM focus such as coding, robotics and fabrication.

"As a result of our partnership grant with the University of South Dakota School of Education, we are blazing the trail to share time and talent to support student learning at Jolley Elementary,” said Sue Galvin, principal at Jolley Elementary.

STREAM education, which stands for science, technology, reading and writing, engineering, arts, and mathematics, represents an experiential method of learning that encourages children to discover that curricular content is interconnected, meaningful and relevant to their daily lives. The project was made possible by a grant that was awarded to Jolley Elementary totaling over $99,000 from the state of South Dakota’s Classroom Innovation Grant. USD School of Education students will study at the new lab to learn how to incorporate the learning model in their own future classrooms.

"We are so excited that a number of University of South Dakota students are engaging in this journey to teach our students and teachers STREAM strategies. I believe teaching and learning with our third grade students will be a highlight of their college experience,” Galvin said.

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