A trip to a conference in England and two iPads for her classroom were purchased through a grant that a Morris High School Spanish teacher recently received, two people involved with the situation said.

In November, Joanne Telfer received about $2,500 from a Technology Research Committee grant from the Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Telfer said.

She has been teaching Spanish for 18 years, the last six at Morris.

She had won a similar grant three years ago, she said.

She was looking for a way to improve her skills while bringing technology into the classroom at no expense to the taxpayers, when she wrote the grant in October, she said.

Morris Central School Superintendent Matthew Sheldon said he was not surprised that his teacher received the grant.

"She's someone who is always trying to expand how and what the students learn," he said. "She thinks outside the box in figuring out how to motivate her students."

A portion of the funds were used to pay for a trip to Leeds, England, to attend the 10th annual Conference of the International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication, from Dec. 3 to 6.

Entitled "Traveling Languages: Culture, Communication, and Translation in a Mobile World," it dealt with bringing global cultures into the classroom, she said.

"I've never been in a room with so many intelligent people," she said.

She was the only teacher among theorists in education from around the world, she said. She was treated like a celebrity because she was the only one who actually worked in the classroom, she said.

"It really excited me about teaching," she said. "It gave me all these new ideas."

The funds were also used to buy two iPads and related equipment, she said. For now, Telfer and the 17 students in her 10th-grade Spanish class are getting used to the tablet computers through a variety of learning activities.

Starting possibly in late January, working in groups of three and four, her students will research and create multimedia presentations on one of the 19 Spanish-speaking countries in the world, she said.

"For many of my students, modern technology is the only way that they will be able to 'visit' other countries," she said.

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