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How NETA Contests Promote Student Learning and Community

By Kayla Henery, La Vista Middle School (Papillion La Vista Community Schools) 7th Grade Science Teacher 

How NETA Contests Promote Student Learning and Community

Technology is an ever changing tool that offers a unique opportunity for teachers and students to engage with each other as well as the world around them with a push of a button. I love using technology in the classroom and thoroughly enjoy finding new ways to incorporate it into the classroom. 

My NETA Contest Experience

I have been attending and presenting at NETA since I started teaching six years ago. I was very excited to find out about the competition piece of NETA and shared this excitement with my students. It was a joy watching the 7th graders compete in the categories: Video, Infographic, Interactive Website, and Still Image. Students focused on topics that they were passionate about which pushed them to create the most accurate yet interactive projects that they could. Some created brochures about sports and pollution while others chose topics like chemistry and coding. 

For example, one of my students discussed the importance of incorporating coloring into the classroom. She not only explained the positive effects of coloring in the classroom, but created a beautiful masterpiece in the background of her video at the same time. 

Technology offers so many amazing opportunities for our youth today and I wanted my students to see that. Whether one is creating platforms by using algorithms and coding or using these platforms to showcase their life’s passions, technology is offering more opportunities to reach the world on a daily basis! These students truly amazed me with what they came up with and I can’t wait to challenge our new students to harness their technological abilities and bring their passions to life! I thank NETA for allowing us, as educators, the opportunity to encourage our students to think outside the box and become involved in this competition.

Adrienne’s NETA Contest Experience

While many of my students placed in contests last year, Adrienne’s winning video, “Coloring Can Relieve Stress” was one that stood out! I asked Adrienne a few questions about her own NETA contest experience. 

What made you interested in competing in NETA?

I thought it was a great opportunity. I’ve never got to compete in a statewide competition and NETA gave me the opportunity to branch out and try something new.

Briefly explain your project that you competed with and WHY you chose to do this topic and category. 

My project was “Coloring can relieve stress.” I chose this because I’ve always loved to color. I wanted to prove to people that coloring wasn’t just an activity (that) children waste time with. Coloring has so many opportunities. 

How has technology helped you as a student?

I use technology to communicate with my teachers and fellow students. I also use it to help me with school work occasionally.

For Adrienne and my students, NETA contests brought them confidence and taught them about using technology to foster creativity and build classroom community. I would recommend NETA contests to any teacher and student to learn more about classroom technology and just have fun!

See my students’ projects here!

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