Trailblazer Program Provides Students with Technology Experience


Sandra Nemes

Getting tips form Michelle DeSilva, sixth grade social studies teacher, student Giana Mendelson works on her Chromebook. The Chromebooks, which 10 teachers received in the beginning of the school year, were included in the Trailblazer program. DeSilva said, “The Trailblazer program was set up so that teachers can build up the digital culture of their school by integrating technology into the classroom, testing out new tools, and teaching their colleagues how to do the same.”


Some students and teachers received the Trailblazer program this year to integrate advanced technology and tools into learning.

“I think it is important to learn with technology because it will never go away. It is just going to advance with learning,” Jennifer Oliver Gardner, sixth grade language arts teacher, said.

The new pilot program provided teachers with touchscreen Chromebooks for their classes. The Chromebooks assisted teachers when teaching lessons.

“The district gifted us with the technology to help teachers and students become acquainted with Google programs,” Glen Barefoot, visual arts teacher, said.

Ten teachers volunteered to receive the program including Brittany Anderson, Glen Barefoot, Melanie DeAngelis, Michelle DeSilva, Christina Donnelly, Jennifer Oliver Gardner, Jay Jeffery, Michele May, Kyle Opera, and Jaimee Stamile.

“I love the ability to store items digitally so that students, parents, and teachers can access them at any time,” Michelle DeSilva, sixth grade world history teacher, said.

The Trailblazer program provided many tools to students, such as Google Docs, Classroom, and Slides. The tools on the Chromebooks helped students learn together and independently.

“The technology is important to learning because you can look up things if you need to, and can email teachers if you have a problem,” Kaylee Weiss, sixth grade communications major, said.

Over summer break the selected teachers learned how to use the program and teach it to their students.

The Trailblazer program was a new experience for students and teachers that gave students the opportunity to learn in an innovative way.

“I think the Trailblazer program is something the county will stick with and grow,” Gardner, said. “Using this program, students are becoming educated digitally, a skill that can transfer to any area.