Friday, June 11, 2010

Teaching and Learning at Tech Camp

Schools out for Summer!  Well, for most people in our district it was on Tuesday, but for about 70 teachers they were just embarking on an amazing 2 day journey through Tech Camp.

Our district offered for the 1st time a 2 day free Tech Camp to teachers in the district that were interested in learning more about how to infuse technology into their classrooms.  Day One was centered around teachers being able to attend 4 different sessions of their choice.  We are a Mac district and sessions ranged from learning software (like Keynote and iMovie) to web-based options (like Moodle and Wikis/Blogs).  During the sessions teachers were shown lots of examples of how to use technology with their students and then quick tutorials in how to get started.  Day Two was an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with one another and start using the tools they learned the day before with "live" support right there from the previous day's instructors if they needed it.

It was a simply amazing experience to be a part of it as an instructor, and as a learner!  To see teachers get inspired and to hear them start thinking of the endless possibilities for integrating technology into their students' learning was wonderful.  Teachers were already starting to develop lessons and projects for the students next year using what they had learned during the Tech Camp.  You could tell that the participants were embracing the idea of using technology during the learning process and not just as an end of unit project.  You could also tell that the participants were becoming more comfortable with using a variety of technology options and were branching out beyond their comfort level.

Teachers were also shown a district wiki that was created titled "Technopedia".  This wiki consists of ideas for integrating technology into the classroom and tutorials for teachers to use to learn technology tools.  It's like an online "Tech Camp" that's available when they are available to learn more! All staff members have the ability to view the wiki content and add to the content to help populate this wiki with more resources.  I think this is going to be a wonderful, powerful resource for our staff as we continue to learn and grow in educational technology!