Tupelo teachers add an online tool

By Chris Kieffer / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo teachers will soon have a new tool to use in planning their lessons.
An online platform the district bought last week contains multiple resources, including warm-up activities, audio clips and video that can be used to supplement instruction.
The school board approved the purchase of the iCORE technology at last week’s school board meeting. CORE stands for Curriculum Online Resources for Educators.
Teachers and administrators have a user name and password and will be able to access the platform from any computer. Students will also have a user name that will allow them and parents to access the iCORE to review lessons and complete activities.
The district will pay $77,000 for the program this year and no more than that amount each year it renews the program. Tupelo will be the first district in Mississippi to use iCORE and thus will get a rate much lower than the approximately $350,000 fee the company normally charges.
The program’s $77,000 cost will also be offset by about $37,000 in savings from software programs the district will no longer need to buy. The district had already included money for the program in this year’s budget.
The platform is aligned with Mississippi’s curriculum and teachers will be able to access activities for each of the objectives required by the state.
“It will take a lot of work load off of us,” said Milam teacher Trish Michael, one of six teachers who spoke about the benefits of the program at last week’s school board meeting. “With video and music for every objective, this will grab every student.”
Teachers can use some of the activities for some students and some for others. They can also pull activities from higher or lower grades to assist high-achieving students and those who are struggling.
“I think the major benefit is that it will allow teachers to differentiate instruction for students at both ends,” said Deputy Superintendent Diana Ezell. “It will also save them time in planning because they won’t have to search for material.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.