Elk Neck Elementary School
Technology Resource and Content-area Teacher
Cecil County Public Schools
“As Mrs. Palmer’s principal, I have had the privilege of working with a fine educator who constantly seeks technological advances for our staff and students in an effort to bring our community into the future through the use of a variety of technologies.”
- John C. Turner, Principal, Elk Neck Elementary School
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Roberta Palmer’s nearly three decades of experience as an art teacher at Elk Neck Elementary School in Cecil County help her think of technology not as an add-on to instruction but something that can be used in innovative ways to reach more students. As her schools’ Technology Use Support Team representative, her duties stretch beyond classroom teaching. She is frequently called upon by colleagues to problem solve and fill needs by implementing effective technological solutions. In her combined role as a technology resource and content-area teacher, she has found ways to seamlessly integrate technology into school functioning on many levels: the classroom, the building, district wide, and beyond to the community.
Ms. Palmer successfully models best practices for how a content-area teacher can incorporate technology into lessons. Her students create art projects tied to art history lessons using Photoshop Elements and other software and evaluate their progress on objectives with PowerPoint “sticky notes.” She demonstrates concepts and drawing techniques through use of iMovies; a presenter, laptop and Wacom Tablet; and a Ken A Vision microscope.
She is a strong staff resource as well. She created a school Technology Cadre to carry out staff development and make purchasing decisions. Additionally, her many staff software-training sessions have improved tech literacy throughout the building.
One of her most notable efforts has been in increasing access to technological equipment for both students and staff. She secured funding and equipment for a second computer lab at her school. The additional lab has allowed teachers to not only expand instruction but also intervene with struggling readers. To support ongoing technology purchases, she is currently developing a program where students create artworks and have the designs transferred to mouse pads, mugs, and T-shirts for sale to the school community.
Palmer has been repeatedly honored for her teaching excellence. She was the 1980 recipient of the Maryland Art Educators Association Cecil County Outstanding New Elementary Art Teacher award. She won again in 1992 for Outstanding Veteran Elementary Art Teacher.
Currently, she is a member of the Cecil County School System Technology Advisory Committee. She was recently instrumental in helping Elk Neck Elementary meet technology requirements to be named a Maryland Green School.