• June 19, 2021
 SISD’s 4th Annual Academic Technology Showcase honors student work using digital, online tools

Graphic courtesy SISD

SISD’s 4th Annual Academic Technology Showcase honors student work using digital, online tools

Hundreds of students and educators participated in Socorro ISD’s fourth annual Academic Technology Showcase, a virtual exhibition of teaching and learning via technology and digital resources.

District organizers share that the annual event involves students at all grade levels, coincides with National Digital Learning Day and is spearheaded by the district’s Instructional Technology team.

The showcase revolved around challenges that students compete in to feature their creativity and skills using online and digital media.

This year, more than 130 submissions were entered into the challenges for the showcase with the theme of Spreading Kindness to Others, influenced by the Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation. Thirty-six students were recognized with awards for their work.

“The showcase is an important part of Operation Future Ready, the district’s commitment to further advance the use of technology and digital resources in all SISD learning environments,” officials said.

SISD Instructional Technology coordinator Miguel Moreno shared that teachers and students look forward to the annual event to show the community their technological accomplishments.

“This year has created a lot of shifts in the activities and the work that our students are doing, but nevertheless we still have a lot of great work that is being done with technology and we certainly wanted to highlight the achievements of our students and teachers,” he said.

The students competed in challenges to show their talent creating useful apps, using video tools to share important messages with the public, and utilizing online tools to prepare for their future.

Students presented their ideas for a digital application or showcased an app they were developing in a live virtual meeting for the App Challenge.

In the FlipVid Challenge, students used the Flipgrid tool to record short videos about spreading kindness to others. For the PSA challenge, students were encouraged to create one-minute public service announcements about changes people can make for a positive impact and a better future.

Middle and high school students used the Bulb online portfolio tool for the Bulb Challenge to create innovative and engaging digital portfolios that they can use to feature their achievements, knowledge, and skills as they apply for colleges, universities, jobs or internships.

El Dorado High School senior Amaya Flores won first place in the high school division of the Bulb challenge. She said the opportunity to create the online portfolio is a great way to expand beyond usual resumes and the tool enabled her to land an interview for an internship.

“I feel really proud of myself. I did the portfolio for the challenge, but also as an investment towards my future,” Flores said. “I think online portfolios are going to become increasingly important and relevant because I feel like everything is online now.”

Flores’s teacher Donna Sianez, who teaches dual credit and speech classes, encouraged her to enter the Academic Technology Showcase and assisted her in reviewing her work.

“Amaya is an amazing student, so when this opportunity came up for the Bulb digital portfolio, I thought about her because she has done incredible work,” Sianez said. “The content that she was able to provide within her portfolio just made it an even better presentation.”

Sianez added that she was happy to work for a district that is progressive and provides endless opportunities for students to succeed now and later in life.

“We are provided with the tools to mentor our students so they can become competitive in the future, which I think is extremely important,” she said. “It also provides our students with an opportunity to showcase themselves and their talents.”

The challenges were judged by SISD Partners in Education, who also supported by providing items and equipment for a raffle at the end of the event. In addition, community members and local celebrities sent in videos to congratulate the students on their hard work.

Students saw video messages from Chico, the El Paso Chihuahuas mascot; Locomotive Midfielder Luis Chapa Herrera; Eli Zamora, a Montwood High School graduate who was on the show “The Voice;” and a representative from Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation.

“We were really fortunate to have that kind of support,” Moreno said. “We appreciate the words of encouragement, support, and overall congratulations to our students who have done an amazing job at working through this pandemic and still have managed to remain on top of their academics and work.”

Academic Technology Showcase Winners

App Challenge
1st Place Winners
Elementary School Division – Horizon Heights Elementary
Kara Duncan
Trinity Seeling

Middle School Division – Montwood Middle School
Aaron Garcia
Daniel Tena

High School Division – El Dorado High School
Brenden Malacara

2nd Place Winners
Elementary School Division – Horizon Heights Elementary
Emma Hamby
Rohan Kulkarni

Middle School Division – John Drugan School
Claire Quintana
Sergio Cordova

High School Division – Montwood High School
Said Ajo Motano
Diego Garcia

FlipVid Challenge
1st Place Winners
PK-2nd Grade Division – Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary
Noah Ryan Paulk

3rd-5th Grade Division – Purple Heart Elementary
Andrea Mendez

6th-8th Grade Division – Spec. Rafael Hernando III Middle School
Samantha Villarreal

2nd Place Winners
PK-2nd Grade Division – Mission Ridge Elementary School
Aurora Pineira

3rd-5th Grade Division – Helen Ball Elementary School
Carlos Aviles

6th-8th Grade Division – Col. John O. Ensor Middle
Christopher Grisanti

PSA Challenge
1st Place Winners
Elementary School Division – Cactus Trails Elementary
Julieann Mann
Noelle Flores

Middle School Division – Hurshel Antwine Middle
Carolina Navarro

High School Division – Mission Early College High School
Omar Garcia
Stephanie Miranda
Emily Miranda

2nd Place Winner
Elementary School Division – Myrtle Cooper Elementary
Gema Ramirez
Sebastian Rodriguez
Anthony Warden

Middle School Division – SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle
Dove Rempfer

High School Division – Pebble Hills High School
Anna Paula Rodarte
Caleb Rene Morales

Bulb Challenge
1st Place Winners
Middle School Division – Montwood Middle School
Kiara Garay

High School Division – El Dorado High School
Amaya Danae Flores

2nd Place Winners
Middle School Division – SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle
Emilio Lopez

High School Division – Montwood High School
Mercedes Lopez

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