Award Winners

Outstanding Teachers 

Elizabeth Bartlett - Teacher, BCSD
KernCUE Emerging Teacher-2017

Sarah Camp - Teacher, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
KernCUE Outstanding Teacher of the Year-2017

Dr. Kevin Silberberg - Superintendent, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
KernCUE Technology Leader of the Year-2017

Outstanding Teachers-2015

Angelica Martinez - Teacher, Shafter
KernCUE Outstanding Teacher

KernCUE Co-President, Kelly Berg, presenting Angelica with her award at the Richland board meeting.

Angelica with her Outstanding Teacher Award!

Benjamin Boesch - Teacher, BCSD
KernCUE Outstanding Emerging Teacher

KernCUE Co-President, Shannon Zimmerman, presenting Ben with his Outstanding Emerging Teacher award at the BCSD board meeting.

Ben and his family with his Outstanding Emerging Teacher Award!

Grant Winners

2015 - Rise to Rome
Ben Boesch!

Ben and the materials provided by his technology grant, Rise of Rome.

Rise of Rome


This project will be covering the education-related topics of English-Language Arts, social studies, math, and art in a 6th Grade classroom. Through the project, students will be provided the opportunity to collaborate with one another and create original works related to the curriculum. An example of the ELA component would be the inclusion of an original historical narrative that takes place in ancient Rome and follows the formation of the Republic and skirmish with the Carthages. To support the narrative, students will create graphics and diagrams of a Roman city that will include a forum, a colosseum, and any other government and/or entertainment buildings students would like to add. To incorporate math, students will utilize their knowledge of graphing on a coordinate plane to design a layout for their Roman city as well as defenses from the oncoming Carthage invaders. These plans will be utilized to answer questions about the area and location of buildings and other points of interest within their cities.

A main component of this project is the integration of technology in the form of a Livescribe Smartpen. The Livescribe Smartpen is a device that has the capabilities of capturing the writing done with the pen, as well as recording the voice of the user. The resulting “video” is then transferred to a computer where it can be stored and retrieved as a pencast. Pencasts can also be uploaded to web pages or other online storage services, such as Google Drive, which is accessible by every student in my school district. According to the case study, “A District Approach to Universally Designed Learning” Collier Counties, a public school district in Florida, piloted the use of 80 smartpens in classrooms around the district. William Schulte the district’s Special Education Instructional Technology Specialist, with 21 years of experience said, “It causes an incredible level of engagement from the students.” Gayle Nance is a smartpen trainer at the Gulf Coast High School and she says, “Only 5 percent of people learn best by hearing, another 60 percent learn visually and 35 percent are considered kinetic learners -- those who learn best when some movement occurs. Smartpen augments all three learning types.”


Livescribe SmartPens are equipped with an app that allows for recording onto “sound stickers”. Sound stickers are small, round stickers that come in a sheet that incorporates the features needed to record. Each sticker allows for a specific voice recording, which will then be played when any LiveScribe pen comes into contact with that sticker. This is a great way to leave notes for group members, directions from the teachers, or even on projects to be displayed giving them an interactive quality.

This project is multifaceted and allows students to work collaboratively on a cross curricular project with integrated technology.

ELA **Learning Goals: Students will collaborate to create an original historical narrative that includes a clear setting, characters, inciting incident, dialogue, and figurative language. While collaborating with peers to create, review, and edit their work.

6.W.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or

characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

6.W.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for

conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including

grade 6.)

6.W.6. Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to collaborate and interact with others.

Math: **Learning Goal: Students will graph polygons on the coordinate plane using coordinates.They will also find the length of polygon sides.

6.G.3 Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.

Social Studies:

**Learning Goal: Students will analyze the political structure of early Rome.

6.7 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures during the development of Rome.

1. Identify the location and describe the rise of the Roman Republic, including the importance of such mythical and historical figures as Aeneas, Romulus and Remus, Cincinnatus, Julius Caesar, and Cicero.

2. Describe the government of the Roman Republic and its significance (e.g., written constitution and tripartite government, checks and balances, civic duty).


I am requesting seven Echo Livescribe SmartPens, Livescribe paper, Livescribe sticky notes, and Livescribe reusable stickers. This equipment will be used to further student collaboration with peers in a variety of ways. Initially, students will be working together to create different aspects of their project, then using the SmartPen in conjunction with the sound stickers they will be able to record themselves and add it to the finished product for an interactive presentation. The SmartPen allows students to work and collaborate on the project at different times. Due to differentiated instruction, specific needs of students, and discrepancies in working pace, it is more than likely that students will not be working on the project at the same time. Through the use of the SmartPen, students would be able to complete parts of the project during their availability while still maintaining continuity within the group by recording their thoughts, ideas, or questions with peers.

Students can use the reusable stickers to record themselves speaking about different portions of the project that they collaborated on. They will also use the sound stickers to create an interactive map of what they learned about the different regions of Rome. For math students will have recorded collaborative conversations that include their work on graphing on the coordinate plane.


I will use a rubric to measure student learning. The rubric will include completeness of reaching learning goals, collaboration and cooperation, neatness and organization, and integration of technology.

To measure teacher learning I will self monitor and keep a reflective journal of my integration of the smartpen. It is my intention to extend the application of the smartpen in my classroom far beyond the confines of this single project. The uses of the smartpen are really only limited by my and my students’ imagination. Given the opportunity to utilize this device, I will create pencasts of math lessons, which I can put on my website, and upload to Google Drive, which will ensure that students and parents will have access to the exact content I covered in class. In his article, “Enhancing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Instruction Through In Class Pencasting Using the Livescribe Smartpen” Andrew J. Van Schaack, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University states that, “Pencasts viewed prior to class serve as advance organizers that help students to more easily interpret information when it is presented later in class. Advance organizers are particularly useful for those students with no prior knowledge of a subject—they help to level the playing field by ensuring that students are more equally prepared as they walk into the classroom each day.” Having Pencasts available will be a great benefit for students with extended processing times as they will be afforded the opportunity to watch the Pencasts at their own pace, and as many times as necessary for them to understand the content. Pencasts will also give the parents, who are not familiar with the common core curriculum, a resource that they can access at home to help their students with homework or concepts their children may be struggling with in class. I firmly believe that giving students access to the exact content covered in class hours later when they are at home trying to solve practice problems or as a preview to the content that will be covered in class would be a huge benefit for my students. As Schaack states, " Correct representations of key figures provided by the teacher ensure that students do not diligently encode the wrong information. Practice makes permanent—not perfect.” Also, since my district uses google apps for education and all of my students are given google accounts pencasts can be uploaded to google drive and shared with other students offering yet another layer of collaboration.


This project could be simply adapted to fit the instructional needs in any classroom given that the tenets of the project are sound. Any professional educator could find ways to take the curriculum that is relevant to them at their grade level and cross pollinate that with other areas of the curriculum to create a type of culminating project similar to the one outlined above. Also, with basic technological knowledge they could further exploit the possibilities of the livescribe smartpens to become a valuable resource for them and their instruction outside of the guidelines of this specific project.


April 27 introduce project to class and train them on use of technology

May 4th Progress Check (Check in with groups looking for specific milestones narrative 1st draft done, graphing done, etc.)

May 12th Class presentations

May 18th Rome Day ( invite other grade levels and administration to see presentations for a brief time.)


2 GB smartpen echo (7 pens @ 99.99 each, Free shipping through amazon)

Livescribe sticky notes 18.86 (Free shipping)

Sound stickers (1000 stickers) @44.77 + 7.50 Shipping

Ink refill 5 pack 5 @ 6.00 (Free shipping)

Livescribe 4 pack notebooks 4 @ 16.99 (Free Shipping)

Total:$861.52 + $119 in taxes calculated @7.25% + $7.50 (shipping) = 988.02 approx. total