Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
On Friday, January 25, the Faculty of Education hosted the 5th annual Teaching with Technology showcase at Brock’s Hamilton Campus.
Designed to inform educators (current and future) about the technologies that are available and how they can used in the classroom, the Showcase created a buzz amongst participants and presenters.
“It is encouraging to see so many educators interested in furthering their understanding of technology can be used to enhance student learning,” said event coordinator and associate professor Dr. Camille Rutherford. “The showcase is also an opportunity for a number of teacher candidates to deliver workshops that provide educators with practical examples of how integrate technology into their classroom practice and watching these teacher candidates demonstrate their EdTech leadership is very exciting and speaks highly of their potential to transform education once they enter the profession.”
Cassandra Aquilina and Kendall Zell were amongst those who led a workshop at the Showcase, and both left with a positive outlook on the continuing integration of technology in the classroom.
“People seem very excited about technology and using it in their classrooms,” said Zell. “Everyone wanted to know every little bit of information we had to offer so they could maximize [Google+ Hangouts].”
With a hands-on approach in almost all of the sessions – including Xbox 360 and Kinect in the Classroom, Inclusively Designed Learning Experience and 21st Century Teaching Tools – the Showcase aims to ease a far-to-common symptom: anxiety of using technology in the classroom.
“I think there’s a large fear amongst some educators of using today’s technology in the classroom,” said Aquilina. “A day like today helps reduce that fear and allows people to be more receptive to the idea of this kind of technology in their classroom.”
While the Showcase was abundant with the newest technologies and programs, there is reason to believe that the surface has barley been scratched when it comes to technology in the classroom and the role it plays in 21st century teaching methods.
“We are not even close to maximizing the potential that tech-enabled learning can provide to personalize learning and address special needs while supporting collaboration, creativity and critical thinking,” says Rutherford. “The challenge has been in moving beyond the use of technology to replicate traditional classroom practice to a context where tech-enabled strategies transform teaching and learning and provide students with learning experiences that were not possible without the use of technology.”
Whether novice or advanced with technologies such as iPads or clickers, everyone participating in the event is able to leave with experiences that will only enhance their classrooms.
“Each showcase participant leaves with a number of concrete classroom examples of how these cutting edge technologies can be used to engage students, differentiate instruction and support 21st century skills,” says Rutherford. “This will make it significantly easier for them to successfully integrate technology into the classroom.”
The 2013 Teaching with Technology Showcase was made possible by this year’s sponsors: Microsoft, Teachers Credit Union, Pearson, Turning Technologies, Strategic Transitions, Homework Help, Smartpen Central, Front Row, Epson, Advanced Presentation and Smart.