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FPCA is a finalist for classroom technology
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Want to support the school?
• You can vote one time in the 2011 Classroom Makeover challenge, where FPCA is a finalist for $75,000 in classroom technology, at

• You can vote once per day in the Finding Undeniable Challenge at

When it comes to school competitions, First Presbyterian Christian Academy knows how to flex some creative muscle.

That’s why teacher Paul Brown’s class is one of five finalists for the 2011 Classroom Makeover challenge, where a single winner will receive more than $29,000 in new classroom technology.

“It’s very different from when I was in high school 28 years ago. We had typewriters back in the day and I took typing …,” FPCA technology teacher Maria Reed said about how pervasive technology is today. “But it’s just the way kids learn now. We’re more visual learners and hands-on learners than lecture learners and having a teacher on a chalk-board.”

But the school’s technology currently is very limited — they do not have classroom clickers, Smartboards or sophisticated software, she said.

To slide in with the challenge’s top five high-school contenders, the school’s upperclassmen created a video parody of the 1986 John Hughes film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” that demonstrates the lack of classroom technology and shows students begging to be engaged in class.

Mocking their lack of technology, the students made paper cut-outs of the clickers and products they might like to see in the classroom.

They even made up a rap to vocalize their message: “FPCA/We need technology/ We so broke we can’t afford to throw away anything/ … And all the other schools are high-tech but we still use chalkboards/ …

“I would love to have a clicker/tests would never be as slow …”

Now that the school had made the top, the winner will be determined by online voting that is open until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 5. Currently, the school is in second place.  Supporters may only vote once at

The winner of the fifth annual contest will receive a complete eInstruction education technology package, which includes a Mobi View mobile interactive whiteboard; a Mobi Student-Centered Learning Pack that allows multiple students or groups to contribute content to the lesson display at the same time; money toward installation of the prizes and a celebration; and classroom response tickers.

Other prizes include an interactive Dell projector, a Hewlett-Packard desktop computer and a variety of education software packages. A winner will be announced Dec. 16.

“It’s only helping Hinesville as a whole if these students are getting access to that kind of learning,” Reed said, imploring the community to vote. “When they come back or go to work over the summers, they’re going to have a knowledge base to tap into to be a better business person in the future.”

FPCA also still is in the running for the Under Armour Finding Undeniable Challenge, which ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

As the Courier previously reported, the Finding Undeniable Challenge will award $140,000 in sports gear and cash to three schools that show heart, determination, commitment and prowess.

The top two schools automatically will win, and the company will select a wildcard winner as well.

“I firmly believe that that is us,” Reed said. “We’ve been in the top five since the beginning, since it started — it’s amazing that we’ve maintained it.”

FPCA, with its 83 high-school students, has been vying against a school with 3,200 students to maintain third place, Reed said. On Monday morning, FPCA was in fourth.

Schools accumulate points by completing a list of spirit-oriented challenges and through online voting. Voters are allowed to vote once per day through Facebook.

Those who wish to support the school can vote through at

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