Educators demonstrate IT's impact on the classroom in CDW Canada's Teaching with Technology Contest

Teachers and IT professionals from across Canada share how technology enables classroom collaboration and encourages new ways to learn

ETOBICOKE, ON, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - CDW Canada, a leading provider of technology solutions for Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors, today announced the winners of its fourth annual Teaching with Technology™ Contest, with a total of $21,000 in prizing. With several ways to enter — including story and video submissions — CDW Canada's annual contest aims to encourage Canadian educators to use technology in their classrooms in new and innovative ways, and reward those who have succeeded in doing so.

New to the contest this year was the video component, which offered educators the opportunity to submit videos that demonstrated how technology was being used to help students learn. All the entries were creative, imaginative and inspired, providing great insight into the resourceful ways teachers are leveraging IT.

"Educators continue to impress us with the variety of technology-based learning strategies that are being implemented in classrooms across Canada. It's a great testament to the initiative and passion that educators have in making sure that young Canadians are engaged in learning and collaborating with technology and see IT as a driver of their success," says Mary Ann Yule, Vice President and General Manager, CDW Canada. "We were also excited to see the effort and creativity shown in the video entries — a new addition to the Teaching with Technology Contest this year."

Story Contest Winners
Educators and school administrators from across Canada were asked to write about how technology has improved or enhanced the learning experience in their classrooms or schools. CDW Canada's panel of judges reviewed the 200-500 word entries and selected two winners. The grand prize, a gift certificate that is valued at $5,000, can be used towards the purchase of CDW Canada's Teaching with Technology sponsor products, allowing the winning schools and teachers to continue to make a difference in the classroom.

Read the full winning entries at

Winner #1: Heather Durnin, Turnberry Central Public School in Wingham, Ont., and Clarence Fisher, Joseph H. Kerr School in Snow Lake, Manitoba
Heather submitted a story about her cross-country collaboration with Clarence Fisher, a teacher in Manitoba. After meeting virtually on Twitter, the two educators worked together to build an online community of learners. With the help of social media tools, students built the Idea Hive — a virtual classroom that connects the Ontario and Manitoba classes. The students use the Idea Hive to read, discuss and complete work together.

Heather writes, "Using a wide variety of social media tools, our students have built relationships, explored their passions and engaged the world in critical and creative ways."

To read Heather's winning story, visit

Winner #2: Andrew Kesteloot, Thames Valley District, St. Thomas, Ont.
Andrew's entry showcased how he uses technology to keep students engaged. Andrew encouraged his secondary school students to submit assignments via the Web and found that students were much more comfortable and focused using a more modern way of communicating. Using social media platforms as a teaching aid, Andrew had students analyze YouTube clips and submit their assignments in the form of tweets.

Andrew writes, "Inevitably, whenever we try something new technologically in class, I hear a few, 'Wow, this is pretty cool' comments. Really, that engagement is the key to keeping students interested and motivated to learn and succeed. That's why technology has been so important in my classroom."

To read Andrew's winning story, visit

Video Contest Winner
Educators and administrators were invited to submit their videos on the Teaching with Technology video Web page for a chance to win a CDW Canada gift certificate valued at $5,000 towards the purchase of products from Teaching with Technology sponsors.

Winner: Leah Obach, Hamiota Elementary School, Hamiota, Manitoba
Leah Obach's grade one class submitted its winning entry with a video showcasing its amazing race through the school year. In it, Leah demonstrated how she prepares her students for learning in the digital age by incorporating technology into her lessons and virtually collaborating with other classes.

In the video, students from Leah's class said, "We are busy racing to learn all the important things we need to know to be good twenty-first century citizens."

To view Leah's winning video, visit

Tweet UR Tech Tale Winner
Now in its third year, educators from across Canada were asked to enter the Tweet UR Tech Tale contest by submitting a tweet about how technology has been, or can be used to enhance the classroom learning experience for a CDW Canada gift certificate valued at $500.

Winner: Pam Sutherland, Winchester St. Public School, Woodstock, Ontario
Pam's winning tweet: "Pictello App - inspired students with autism to make and create their own social stories with pictures and voice. #twtcda"

Sweepstakes Winners
Educators were invited to enter a sweepstakes contest for a chance to win a CDW Canada gift certificate valued at $200, while IT professionals could win a gift certificate valued at $1,500:


  • Stephan Armitage, Kawartha Pine Ridge, Peterborough, Ont.
  • Tiresa Lancaster, Leo Hayes High School, Fredericton, N.B.
  • Andrea Black, Highgate Public School, Markham, Ont.
  • Jessica Howlett, École Macneill, Dauphin, Man.
  • Gwenda Thompson Willows, Grosvenor Wentworth Elementary School, Halifax, N.S.

IT professionals:

  • Tammy Dingwell, Thickwood Heights, Fort McMurray, Alta.
  • Robbie Finkel, College Prep International, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Todd Sniezek, District School Board of Niagara, Fonthill, Ont.

The fourth annual contest received generous support from many of CDW Canada's technology partners including premier sponsor HP; gold sponsors Cisco, Epson and Lenovo; silver sponsors InFocus, Logitech, Targus and Xerox; and bronze sponsors Brother, D-Link, Ergotron and Tech Smith.

To read the winning story contest entries and to view the full list of prizes and winners, please visit

Story Contest Award Presentations: Photo and Media Opportunities
CDW Canada will host award ceremonies at some of the winning schools throughout the month of June. Photo opportunities and one-on-one interviews are available. Please contact if you are interested in attending any of the award presentations or if you would like to arrange an interview.


About CDW Canada
CDW Canada Inc. ( is a leading provider of technology solutions for organizations in the public and private sectors. As a trusted advisor for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), CDW Canada provides a single destination for organizations to research, inquire or purchase virtually any technology solution that they require. Customers benefit from one-on-one relationships with knowledgeable account managers who are backed by a team of highly certified IT specialists. Through successful partnerships with more than 350 leading technology manufacturers, CDW Canada draws from a comprehensive selection of 160,000 technology products to help customers find the best technology to meet their unique business needs.  Headquartered in Etobicoke, Ontario, CDW Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW Corporation, ranked No. 270 on the FORTUNE 500. In 2011, CDW Canada ranked #25 on Best Workplaces in Canada.

Video with caption: "CDW Canada's 2011 Teaching with Technology Video Contest Winner: Leah Obach, Hamiota Elementary School, Hamiota, Man. ". Video available at:

SOURCE CDW Canada Inc.

For further information:

Cindy Watson/Claire McCorquodale 
StrategicAmpersand Inc.
(416) 961-5595

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