While students were enjoying their first day of Spring Break, hundreds of teachers were spending the day at the Technology Conference at Santaluces High School working on professional development on how to better use technology in the classroom.
The event, which is in its 19th year offered more than 130 breakout sessions, 46 technology company partner and vendor representatives and had an expanded Markerspace Experience where attendees could learn how media specialists are promoting hands-on learning.
Donald Hanna, a teacher at Village Academy, described the Technology Conference as “a great opportunity for us to have a one stop show for technology resources.”
The keynote speaker of the event was Eric Sheninger, known nationally as “The Digital Principal,” who started the event with his presentation “Inspiring Students: Bring Awe Back to Learning.” The focus of his talk was purposeful integration of technology to facilitate student learning, improve communications and help educators grow professionally.
The District has committed to provide digital and blending learning opportunities utilizing current technology as part of its five-year Strategic Plan, and the teachers are wasting no time getting on board. “Innovation is the movement,” said Dielma Eusebio from Turning Points Academy. “Hop on the train of technology and enjoy the experience.”
For those who were unable to attend the conference, it was streamed live to schools. An event app was also created to allow participants to build their own schedules and take surveys as well.
Three teachers were recognized as Innovative Educators in a contest designed to demonstrate how they are using technology in the classroom. This year’s winners are:
- Richard Ehrlich of Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for Adaptation
- Ryan Smith of Polo Park Middle School, for Transformation
- Jamie Worral from Christa McAuliffe Middle School, for Infusion
Breakout sessions included #Twitter4Teachers, Literature Circles Gone Digital, Maximizing iReady’s Digital Environments and Google Chrome Apps and Extensions for Struggling Learners, among other topics.
“Paper and pencil is going away,” said Deven Soto from Crystal Lakes Elementary. “Technology-based learning is here and now.”