On Monday, Thomas County Upper Elementary and Thomas County Middle School held a “Techno Expo.”
During the morning on this professional learning day, teachers attended sessions in order to learn how to embed the use of Web 2.0 tools into their daily instruction. The sessions were conducted by teachers and other staff members from the school system.
Some sessions included information on how to use Edmodo, post instructional videos to teacher webpages, design polls using Poll Everywhere, create QR codes, and how to find information using GALILEO, and how to “FLIP” classrooms in order to promote student engagement.
Melvin Hugans, assistant principal, organized this event.
“We feel that the more teachers use technology in their classrooms, the more engaged the students will become. This event allowed teachers in our school to share their knowledge of different technology tools so that other teachers will be able to use them as well,” Hugans said.
“The Techno Expo was very informative,” said Kendra Johnson, Ed.S., sixth-grade social studies teacher. “I learned about a more creative way to present information to my students using the presentation program Prezi. I also learned different ways to incorporate technology within SMART notebook. These things will help me make learning fun for my students. They can understand and retain the information that I give them, and they can have a great time doing so.”
Teachers chose three out of 10 sessions to attend. Each session lasted 30 minutes. Many teachers expressed that they wished they could’ve attended them all.
Harold Singletary, fifth-grade MERIT teacher, said, “The Techno Expo was an informative and enlightening educational experience. In this technology age many of us fear using something new or different and our students thrive in a culture of technology. The three classes that I attended gave me a glimpse of how I can utilize technology in my classroom in an almost painless way and gave me the confidence to try that something new or different. I appreciated the fact that the delivery was from a fellow teacher that shared the same fear and yet found a way to successfully integrate 21st-century learning into their daily routine.”
The idea for the Techno Expo came after a team of teachers from TCUE/TCMS visited Booth Middle School in Fayette County. The school has a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) policy. Students in the school are encouraged to bring their own devices (phones, tablets, etc.) to use when the teacher designs instruction to include technology.
Members of the team that traveled to Fayette County included Robin Cartright, Lindsay Thompson, Kevin Keve, Danna Golden, and Kathie Craven. Also in attendance were Media Specialist Erin Rehberg, Instructional Technologist Matt Casper, and administrators, Dr. Scott James and Melvin Hugans. The teachers and staff members that went on the trip shared ideas with other teachers at TCUE/TCMS at the Techno Expo.
I found the technology training extremely helpful,” said William Lee, eighth grade Spanish teacher. “I attended the YouTube, Edmodo, and Dojo trainings. It is rare when one attends staff development on a given day and then can immediately implement the training in the classroom the next day. The very next day I was able to create a YouTube channel for my classroom. Because of that training, I was able to supplement my instruction with technology. The kids absolutely loved it. They even asked for more.”