PB Connect

Teachers draw inspiration from one another
Posted on 01/24/2017

What began as a technology camp to share digital resources to upper grade level faculty has expanded to become a district-wide conference with a total of 133 breakout sessions, ranging from STEM exercises to yoga in the classroom. 

Attended by approximately 450 R-I educators on Tuesday, Jan. 17, during Collaboration Day at Poplar Bluff High School, the third annual ‘PB Connect’ professional development workshop featured 78 presenters, the vast majority of whom were in-house, with several special guest speakers from across the state. 

“This is not about devices,” stated Rockwood Assistant Principal Dr. Christopher McGee in his keynote address. “All that stuff is good and great and awesome for a week… until the next thing comes after. Your first app is your brain, and then your heart.” 

Topics—determined by staff through surveys—included understanding dyslexia, starting an embryology program, developing social contracts, introducing brain breaks and whole brain learning techniques. The PBHS Help Desk staged an interactive playground in the Media Center with cutting-edge tools such as a green screen, View-Master, 3-D pen, Bloxel, Makey Makey, Ozobot and Sphero, which teach students concepts like coding. 

“I would say four of the five sessions I attended provided me immediate information that is helpful in the classroom,” stated PBHS Spanish teacher Charley Harper in his feedback afterward. “I was somewhat ambivalent in my anticipation of the day,” the veteran instructor admitted, adding:  “and I left SO pumped and filled.” 

Several vendors who set up booths in between sessions helped subsidize the event, along with donations from Bread and Butter, Donut House, Harps, Kroger, Poplar Bluff Realty, Ultra Glo and Wal-Mart. Chartwells School Dining Services provided meals for participants. 

PB Connect was first introduced beginning with Junior and Senior High in 2015, and went on to include the Middle School last year. The event was organized by the R-I chief technology officer, instructional technology facilitators and the vanguard team. 

“We’ve had the best PD day that I’ve been involved with,” reported Superintendent Scott Dill on Thursday, Jan. 19, during the school board meeting. “It proves we have all the expertise necessary to elevate this district within our own walls.” 

###

Cutline: Guest speaker Dr. Chris McGee tells the audience that lessons ought to come with an expiration date like a gallon of milk.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.