Teachers attend Back to School conference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rowan-Salisbury teachers are preparing for the new school year with the district’s Back to School conference — a full day of professional development to prepare local educators to teach in a digitally innovative school system.
Teachers learned from each other, administrators and Hall Davidson, an internationally known educational technology speaker.
Davidson, who delivered the keynote presentation, is the senior director for global learning initiatives at Discovery Education. He taught attendees about a variety of free educational applications they could use for instruction, as well as how to use them, and talked about how failure is a good thing if they learn from it.
“He really shared some awesome apps with us that were really innovative,” said Susan Mobley, an AIG teacher at Rockwell Elementary School.
“To have him here in this district is amazing,” said Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.
Davidson wasn’t the only one who brought valuable information tho the conference, however.
The 163 teachers who attended the International Society for Technology in Education conference earlier this summer taught workshops to their fellow teachers.
Traci Thompson, a second- grade teacher at Rockwell Elementary said she especially appreciated the workshops led by other teachers because the things they presented were applicable in the classroom.
Laura Salow, a fifth-grade teacher at Woodleaf, learned about making trailers on iMovie and using them in her classroom.
“They taught us how to take the pictures we have and pop them in there,” she said.
Smith added that she plans to make a “get to know Mrs. Salow” video for the first day of school.
“We have a lot of studying to do — a lot of playing around,” said Jodi Smith, who also teaches fifth grade at Woodleaf.
“This is like a state or national conference right here,” Moody said. “It’s about moving our strategic plan forward.”
Davidson said the conference was an “exemplary kick-off” to the school year and the district’s one-to-one digital conversion, which will put either a laptop or tablet in the hands of every third through 12th grader in the district.
“These days are so important,” he said, adding that the training gives teachers the support and permission they need to successfully implement digital innovation in the classroom.
“You’ve got an international quality leadership team here,” he said.
While each district that implements a one-to-one policy hits a several year learning curve, Davidson said he expects Rowan-Salisbury’s to be roughly three years, shorter than the average school system.
Davidson addressed elementary school teachers Tuesday and will hold two more keynote sessions Wednesday for middle and high school teachers.
“We’re used to technology, but it’s growing and changing so fast,” said Joy Wallace, Rockwell’s assistant principal, adding she felt the conference would enhance the way educators teach using technology.