Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU student teaches technology to teachers

October 11, 2010

In her time as a student teacher at Rosedale Elementary School, Whitney Barrett has done more than simply teach third-grade students. The senior elementary education major from Terre Haute has helped the staff at Rosedale with technology in their classrooms.

Barrett organized a teacher in-service day at Rosedale to show the teachers various forms of technology that she uses in the classroom, such as creating a PowerPoint presentation and incorporating video clips in lessons. She also demonstrated how teachers could access student-appropriate resources through online encyclopedias.

"The principal asked Whitney if she would do this because she wanted her staff to be comfortable with technology," said Millie Vaughn, Education Student Services student teaching supervisor who oversees Whitney's placement in Rosedale.

Barrett also demonstrated how to create a Jeopardy!-style game on the computer, which could be used for reviewing material before a test.

"They learned that it was relatively easy to use the projector with the computer," said Adrienne Gideon, principal of Rosedale Elementary School. "It is a good example of how student teachers can teach teachers out in the field new ideas. And actually, the teachers are more receptive to learning from someone who is using the technology than a presenter who comes in."

Barrett's presentation was part of the weekly professional learning community meetings at Rosedale. The staff were able to ask questions and think about ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms.

"Recently the school received grants that allowed for the purchase of new technology for each classroom," Barrett said. "I was very excited about this news because it allowed me the opportunity to incorporate those new tools into my unit."

Student teachers in Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education are encouraged to be involved in the schools in which they student teach, in order to give something back to those schools and maybe learn something in the process, according to Vaughn.

"They are encouraged to participate in open houses and to participate when parent conferences are scheduled," she said. "They're encouraged to be a part of the school community."

Barrett, who also coaches color guard at Terre Haute South Vigo High School and tutors elementary school students in Vigo County, has learned through her student teaching experience.

"You read about methods that are used ideally in schools, but Rosedale has put those methods into action to help their students," Barrett said. "In doing the in-service, I learned the value of having time set aside for professional development."

In addition to presenting at the in-service, Barrett has been an active participant in meetings, particularly those pertaining to student teaching.

Vaughn said the host school staff prefer to see student teachers take the initiative.

"Don't just sit back and look out the window," she said. "Be approachable. Mix with the staff."

Whitney Barrett, ISU senior, demonstrates a Jeopardy-style game on the computer to teachers in Rosedale. Courtesy photo

Rosedale teachers play along during a Jeopardy-style game demonstrated by ISU senior education major Whitney Barrett. Courtesy photo

Contact: Millie Vaughn, Education Student Services student teaching supervisor, Indiana State University, at

Writer: Lana Schrock, media relations assistant, Indiana State University, at 812-237-3773 or