An Interview with Terri Rashid

By Anna FlurryTerri Rashid

Terri Rashid and her husband, Rick Rashid, donated the new Windows Surface Tablets for Tri-City Prep.

Q: What inspired you and Rick to donate the tablets? Have you done anything like this in the past?
A: Rick and I have had a history of education philanthropy including large gifts to the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University.  Both of us have a background as educators at the University level and I’ve had a personal interest in K-12 education and technology since my sons were in early grade-school.

The independent school our boys attended during our time California was quite aggressive in the use of technology and I’ve been excited by the prospects of using computers to aid both teachers and students.  With our son Tieran entering as a freshman next year, I began to learn more about the Tri-City Prep program and interact with the faculty.

Rick and I both felt that the goals and structure of the program, as well as the enthusiasm and engagement of the faculty would provide an ideal setting to launch this kind of 1:1 tablet initiative.  With so many top-tier Universities now focused on technology-supported pedagogy, it only makes sense for a college-prep school like TCP to incorporate these strategies as well.

Q: How do you hope the tablets will be used?

A: There are a wide variety of opportunities for using the tablets.  The teachers and I have been exploring various online resources and applications that support specific domains.  The Microsoft Office applications that are included with the tablets support numerous general use scenarios…

There are also great opportunities for enhanced collaboration among the students.  Online collaboration and teamwork are essential in today’s modern businesses and it’s critical that students not only learn the technical skills to support such interaction, but also the social skills.

Q: Do you have any specifics in mind for the tablets?

A: I personally use OneNote for all of my research notes as well as many household items… I think students could really benefit from the organization and search capabilities that OneNote allows.  And teachers could create “handouts” in OneNote that students could then incorporate into their own notebooks and mark up as they like.  I’d love to see students learn to keep much of their information on the tablets, and less on paper.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell the students?

A: Have fun with the tablets, but also use them responsibly.  Experiment with different approaches to leverage your learning, but remember that the tablets are tools, not the end-goal.  Don’t get too distracted by the technology.

The best thanks [for Rick and I] would be to see the tablets used productively, creatively and responsibly.  I would be thrilled with that as the outcome.

Some additional information:

[I] prompted the family’s move to Prescott, AZ.  [I compete] at the national level in Endurance Riding (an FEI equestrian sport) and was long-listed for the US Team in 2012…  I [have] a young & upcoming horse that I am trying to condition and train for a shot at the 2014 US Team.

Rick is the Chief Research Officer at Microsoft.  He was recruited to Microsoft by Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates over 20 years ago to found Microsoft Research… I have been volunteering part time at TCP to help get the tablet program started.

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