Integrating technology into the classroom provides lots of new learning opportunities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Teachers can find apps to help make lessons more interactive, students can access their work at home using their tablet devices, and schools can easily share their stories. One of the most valuable opportunities that technology provides is the ability to connect with other educators and classrooms. Using social media, two science teachers in Carroll Middle School in Raleigh, NC did just that!

Linda Kimball and Mary Samuels are science teachers at Carroll. They faced a challenge this year when the science curriculum was altered to include a unit on plants during the winter months. Unfortunately for their students, this meant that there’d be very few actual living plants to observe during the colder weather. Mrs. Kimball and Ms. Samuels discovered the Green Bronx Machine project online, and were inspired to pursue a grant to bring ‘grow lights’ into their classrooms. They were successful, and now have a flourishing, year-round garden inside the school!

Produced by Ian McClerin, Storyteller at Carroll Middle School and PreEminent Charter School

These teachers reached out to Stephen Ritz, the founder of Green Bronx Machine, through social media to share their story and the impact this project has had on their students. Since then, they’ve been in contact sharing stories and updates, and he’s planning to video conference with the students. A visit to the school may even be in the works…

This project has not only helped students at Carroll learn about plants and their relationship to the planet, but provides a great example of the power of technology to forge connections. When faced with a challenge at their school, these teachers were able to connect to an outside network to help find a solution. Teachers can connect with each other from miles apart, even across the globe, to share lessons and inspire learning.


About Emily Morris

Emily Morris is a Project Associate with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative.