At a Tech Fest hosted by the Aiken County School District on Tuesday, two J.D. Lever Elementary School teachers might have attracted a lot of intrigued educators to their presentation with the name Baby Flips.
Nope, the program - provided by fourth-grade teachers Becky Hare and Phyllis Jones – had no connections with babies and gymnastics.
Baby Flips, a title they selected – was about the introduction of information through websites and pre-recorded videos before actually participating in classroom activities.
As a result, “traditional class time is “used for active problem-solving and one-to-one or small-group tutoring with the teacher,” Hare said.
About two dozen teachers and other educators discussed a wide range of topics related to technology during the program held at Aiken High School.
Tech Fest was introduced 11 years ago, said Ashlee Logan, a School District technology specialist. When she and colleague Terry Hallman took on those roles three years earlier, “We saw the potential that education technology does matter as to what students could do,” Logan said. “Technology is not there just for the teacher to lecture. It's really supposed to be in students' hands so they can demonstrate what they learn.”
Sarah Emerling and Jennifer Watkins, K-5 teachers at Busbee-Corbett Elementary-Middle School, discussed Creation-Based Learning using the iPad.
Through a small number of apps, the students can create a finished product of photographs or video to demonstrate their learning.
Education is all about ownership and whether or not students own their learning, Emerling said by email. She challenges her young special education children to participate.
“My students have just finished their final project on area and perimeter,” Emerling said. “They created their own tutorials, teaching others the definitions and formulas - showing examples of finding area and perimeter.”
Two guidance counselors - Ordean Crews at Hammond Hill Elementary School and Darriel Whetstone of Wagener-Salley High School – presented “Oh, That's How.”
They intended to help other educators develop a way to assist students in applying their coursework to real life.
“It answers the question of 'why do we have to learn this?' Whetstone said. “It also brings fun and a new sense of curiosity, I believe, because now they see there are more careers out there than what they see on television.”
A Wagener-Salley teacher, Allison Cook, developed a session she called iThink iCan – directed toward teachers who may feel somewhat intimidated about integrating iPads or iPods in their classrooms.
Cook provided some class start-up ideas for the teachers.
“I also provided six to eight generic apps that can be adapted to any grade level and any content area,” she said. “I stressed the ability of iPads and iPods to be a great tool for differentiated instruction.”
Other teachers who made presentations were as follows: Megan Bush, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School; Ginny Busbee, Stacey Chafin and Lauren Batte, Byrd Elementary School; David Harris, North Augusta High School; Cassie Cox, Liz McClearen, Greendale Elementary School; Shantia Wheeler, Kayatria Jones, North Aiken Elementary School; Amy Edwards, Mossy Creek Elementary School; Vernon Williams, East Aiken School of the Arts; Marcia Kalayjian, Sue Anne Beym, Dustin Fowler and Angela Drake, Midland Valley High School; Art Lader, Aiken High School; and Jason Rodgers, South Aiken High School.
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