Tech Camp

Digital world of possibilities showcased at Tech Camp
Posted on 01/22/2016

Over 100 Poplar Bluff Middle School and Junior High staff members participated in the second annual Tech Camp on Collaboration Day Friday, Jan. 15, featuring workshops hosted by R-I faculty as well as education leaders from throughout the state.

The 45 break-out sessions at PBJHS centered on resources and strategies for digital classrooms. The professional development event is the brainchild of the R-I instructional technology team, which got its idea in 2014 after attending an International Society for Technology in Education conference.

“We went to great sessions and gathered a lot of info, and thought, ‘How can we bring these ideas back to our teachers, beyond a PowerPoint,’” said R-I Chief Technology Officer Aaron Badgley, adding his goal next year is to expand the training district-wide. “We polled teachers after our first Tech Camp, and they responded that it was the most beneficial PD they had received all year.”

To complement this year’s theme—play with purpose—organizers set up an interactive ‘playground’ in the hallway featuring emerging technologies including a green screen, Google Cardboard, Makey Makey and Sphero kits, which will be made available for classrooms to check out to teach students coding.

Special guest presenters included Greg Lawrence, Wentzville instructional technology coach; Patti Jones, Senath-Hornersville director of change and innovation; and Shannon Mangrum, assistant director of the Poplar Bluff Public Library.

More than $1,000 in sponsorships allowed for prizes to be awarded to attendees, ranging from Chromecasts to flash drives. Underwriters included: Applebee’s, The Bread Co., Colton’s, Donut House, Frontier, Gamma HealthCare, Hardee’s, Harp’s, Hefner Furniture, Kroger, Las Margaritas, Lemonade House Grille, Office Depot, Poplar Bluff Realty, Ronnie Cline, Simmons Tire and Wal-Mart.

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Cutline: Greg Lawrence, Google for education certified trainer and innovator, kicks off Tech Camp with a keynote speech about the possibilities of maximizing the use of technology in the classroom.

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