Oak Bluffs School teacher Deborah Hammett wins Comcast grant

Comcast representatives joined Oak Bluffs School third grade teacher Deborah Hammett, assistant Katie Mauro and their students Tuesday for the “unveiling” of new iPads for use in their classroom.

The iPads were purchased with a $2,500 grant awarded to Ms. Hammett from Comcast. She is one of three Massachusetts teachers who won an essay and video contest the company sponsored.

Ms. Hammett said she received an email about the contest and grant that Comcast sent to teachers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It invited them to submit a paragraph describing how they use technology in their classrooms, such as courtesy Internet access provided by Comcast, and how they would benefit from a $2,500 grant.

Ms. Hammett was selected as one of six finalists out of about 100 teachers that entered, according to a Comcast spokesman.

“As a finalist, I received a complimentary Flip video camera and was told to make a five-minute video to show how I use technology in my classroom and how I would use the grant,” said Ms. Hammett, who has taught at Oak Bluffs School since 1987.

She and her students created the video and uploaded it to YouTube (available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgdHD298Hdw). Ms. Hammett was selected a winner, along with two teachers from Francis M. Leahy School in Lawrence and Abbot School in Westford.

Ms. Hammett used the grant money to purchase four new iPads, covers, a network device, and a wireless color printer and scanner.

She said her students use the Internet for many activities, including math programs and Google Docs, and have a class website. Ms. Hammett said they would use the iPads to do a great end-of-the-year project.

Comcast Corporation, a Philadelphia-based cable television and Internet provider, serves about 10,000 Island homes under a 10-year contract up for renewal on June 30.