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Teachers Learn About Infusing TechnologyThrough Conference
By Kera Mashek
June 25, 2014


School might be out for summer, but the learning continues for teachers, who are already preparing for the fall. This week, about one hundred educators from across the state are in Charleston learning about the best ways to incorporate technology into the classroom.

Teachers are taking selfies, but it is not just for fun. They are learning how to use video applications with the iPad.

"You can do quizzes and poll them," one teacher said.

And educators are excited to learn new and creative ways to incorporate this kind of technology in their schools.

"This is absolutely something that is incorporated in my life and in my classroom. The internet is not going away. Technology is here. Our students and teachers are using it. So it's something I want to jump on board so I can help my students achieve," said Megan Bacorn, Upshur Co. teacher.

That is exactly the goal of using the tools tablets offer: to get students more engaged in whatever subject they are studying.

"If you do a video book report and it's posted globally, then the student is really going to invest in it. It means more to them. It's more relevant and meaningful. They engage a social community that doesn't exist within their school or classroom," said Michelle Tharp, Technology Integration Coordinator with the West Virginia Center for Professional Development.

So more than 40 different workshops at this conference are helping these teachers customize lesson plans and figure out what will work best to help students. Teachers here are learning about all kinds of applications they can use to demonstrate simple things like classroom rules.

The tools can also be translated to help kids with much more complex topics...

David DeStefano is a math teacher in Martinsburg. He loves using video applications and has students make short videos to show their comprehension of solving calculus questions. Those videos can be used in peer-to-peer learning, where students help each other in solving problems.

"It's a way that math, especially for kids that don't normally do well in math, it gives them a chance to explore it in a different way. It's not just sit in this desk, take this pencil and paper out, and do homework problems, do examples and then go onto the next topic. It's a great way for kids to use video to bring math to life," said DeStefano.

This kind of technology also makes it possible for teachers to share classroom material with students online through tablets, laptops, and even video game systems, so they can keep up if they need to review materials. Eventually, that could even help eliminate snow days.

Another "Infusing Technology" conference will help teachers in Morgantown next month.

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