Schools are out for the summer, but learning is still taking place – at least for teachers.
At Northwest ISD’s annual 1:World Conference, teachers learned about educational technology from fellow tech-enthused educators and reputed keynote speakers. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, kicked off the conference by discussing the future of an educated world and how students are advancing alongside technology.
“If you can’t tell the difference between a classroom and a startup, you’re doing it right,” Bushnell told audience members.
Bushnell’s focus on changing technology reverberated around the conference, where teachers learned about topics that would benefit student learning and supplement traditional teaching methods. Courses focused on a wide range of topics, such as best practices for Google services in the classroom, going paperless for class work and how to teach basic coding with a Raspberry Pi mini PC. Teachers leading sessions focused on the 1:World goal: practical implementation of innovative technology use for instruction in the classroom.
Brittany Horn, an instructional technology specialist at Tidwell Middle School, and Erin Johnson, a Granger Elementary fifth-grade teacher, guided attendees through a session on collaborative learning. Through the presentation, attendees learned how to easily share documents between students as well as how to reach out to their peers to share lesson ideas. The duo presented a variety of software examples so attendees could find the options that best fit their needs.
“Technology really has moved from being a separate compartment to learn to being a culture ingrained in all courses.”
BRITTANY HORN, TIDWELL INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST
Horn said the biggest benefit of the conference is how it allows teachers to learn from their peers, who best understand how they use technology in the classroom. Teachers understanding technology, in turn, allows students to receive help finding new avenues to learn – much in the same way she showed educators how they could collaborate themselves.
“Technology really has moved from being a separate compartment to learn to being a culture ingrained in all courses,” Horn said. “Technology just allows us to be more student-focused. We have students creating and sharing things through technology, whereas in the past they might have been getting information from just the teacher.”
Johnson added that the 1:World Conference helps teachers better master skills by providing a variety of course options. While one course may focus on broad overview of a certain type of online software, for instance, another course could showcase niche uses of that same online software.
“I like the variety of the conference, as well as the fact that a lot of classes build upon one another,” she said. “The big benefit to that is if you learned something in one session but you’re not quite mastering it, you can go to another session and start digging deeper.”
|LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
|For more information about the 1:World Conference, visit its website at conference.nisdtx.org.