Emily Ford will use the $200 grant to integrate new podcast technology into her classroom

Emily Ford, a sixth-grade geography teacher at El Dorado Springs Middle School, has received a $200 grant through WGU Missouri’s “Fund My Classroom” initiative. The funds will be used by Ford to incorporate podcast technology into her classroom as a new and unique way for students to learn.

Ford will use the grant to purchase recording equipment, including microphones and filters. Her students will be able to use the technology to create and record podcasts over material covered in class, and students will be encouraged to perform research and discuss, in more detail, topics they found especially interesting. Ford will use this project as an alternative to traditional tests. She believes exposure to different technologies will not only help her students become more engaged in the material covered in class, but it will also help them learn important skills they might use in a future career field.

The innovative classroom project is one of 29 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding. The nonprofit university issued a call in March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Ford’s proposal was one of more than 100 nominations received statewide. All grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

“We are happy we can bring so many of these innovative projects to life through our ‘Fund My Classroom’ initiative and give the impacted teachers something to look forward to in the midst of all the uncertainty COVID-19 is causing for schools across the region,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This initiative is an opportunity for WGU Missouri to celebrate teachers and is a great way to thank them for the lasting, positive impact they have on their students. We were excited to hear from so many great teachers with excellent ideas that will enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.”

To learn more about the “Fund My Classroom” initiative and the work WGU Missouri is doing to help teachers advance their careers, visit missouri.wgu.edu.

About WGU Missouri

WGU Missouri is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to higher education for Missouri residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Missouri faculty members provide one-on-one guidance, support, and instruction.

Established through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is open to all qualified Missouri residents. The university is nonprofit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $7,000 per year for most programs.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*).

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