Blended learning helps Fremont teacher win three grants

Paraiso wins LIGHT Award, Better Lesson and Map Your World grants

Teacher Johanna Paraiso assists senior Michelle Dominguez in a blended learning lesson on Feb. 25.

Yacsiry Hernandez

Teacher Johanna Paraiso assists senior Michelle Dominguez in a blended learning lesson on Feb. 25.

Teacher Johanna Paraiso has put her writing skills to work to win three grants that will benefit the school, her students and her own children.

This week, Paraiso learned that the LIGHT Award grant she had written earlier this year was successful. It will bring $30,000 to Fremont to aid in expanding blended learning, which is when teachers use both computers and personal instruction in their classrooms.

Earlier this year, Paraiso received the Map Your World grant, which she is described by the grant makers as “a multi-platform project that puts the power of new technology on to the hands of young change agents, enabling them to map, track and improve the health of their communities.”

Paraiso heard about the Map Your World grant through partners at the Mills College School of Education. Under the grant, she received eight Nexus 7 tablets from Google.

To receive and prepare for the grant, Paraiso had to write a proposal outlining how her students would be able to use Nexus 7 tablets as a resource allowing her students to be able to engage in community mapping projects and other civic engagement work.

“I feel over-the-moon-proud because my students directly benefit from the technology resources,” Paraiso said.

With the grant, Paraiso plans community mapping for the senior research projects benefitting the students and school completely.

One of those students is Quenajonay Frazier, who said she plans to use one of the tablets in her field observation of how a person with a mental illness is treated.

Paraiso also received a grant from Better Lessons, Inc. She said she won because she has demonstrated solid, innovative approaches to using technology in the classroom that personalizes the learning and content for her students.

The preparation for the grant has been years in the making, she said. She is among 11 teachers chosen from a nationwide pool of 170 applicants.

Over the course of a year, Paraiso had to produce over 100 artifacts of 21 different narratives covering topics like culture building and curriculum design. She will be filmed professionally five times this year, and all lessons and recordings will be published on the Better Lesson website.

“It makes me feel like the work I am doing in my classroom is truly meaningful,” Paraiso said.

Paraiso said she will receive $15,000 and a strong reputation as blended learning specialist teacher from the grant. She said she plans to use to use the money to pay for her children’s college tuition and that Fremont High students will benefit as their school receives positive publicity.

To see Paraiso’s Better Lesson webpage, go to