Woodland Consolidated School Awarded Technology Grant 


Woodland Consolidated School, a kindergarten through 8th grade school in Northern Maine, is about to be the beneficiary of a major technology upgrade in its classrooms!

Technology Director Lisa Milliard applied for a Rural Utilities Services grant to acquire much needed technology for her school. The Rural Utilities Service is part of the Rural Development division of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant that Ms. Millard applied for, Woodlands Consolidated School will be receiving 65-inch interactive displays for every classroom at the school. 

Principal Gillian Laird-Sleeper said that the driving force for the upgrade came from Milliard because she “felt that the school needed some updated technology both in implementation and delivery of lessons, as well as student use of technology.” 

Sixth-grade teacher Sandy Swan, and 7th-grade teacher Cody Tompkins, will be just two of the many beneficiaries of this technology upgrade. They are both thrilled about what the interactive displays will do for their classrooms.

Swan mentioned that she’s hoping the tools that come with the new displays will allow for more creativity for her and her students. While her current board allows her to write, save, and erase, she said, “I cannot manipulate what I put on the board whatsoever.” She hopes this new technology will allow her “to complete lessons more effectively.”  

Tompkins agrees and described the impact of the interactive display as a “true game changer” for his classroom. “A smart board would allow for home to school access for the students who are remote either due to quarantine or exposure to COVID-19,” he says. He also noted that the interactive features would allow more manipulation of materials like graphing in math, diagramming sentence structure in English, and highlighting vocabulary in reading.  

The application of the interactive displays will certainly serve the Woodland Consolidated School staff and students well. As Swan put it, “I cannot wait to see what the tools, gallery and multi-touch options hold in store for us.” 

For more information (requirements, terms, application process) about USDA Rural Utilities Service grants visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/telecommunications-programs/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants. Grant applications are accepted through grants.gov.