EdTech Brings Regional Educators to UMW

Educators from across the region came together March 14 for the Fourth Annual EdTech Conference at the University of Mary Washington to talk about ways to change learning in the digital age.

Students from J.W. Alvey Elementary School show Catherine Walker, adjunct instructor for the UMW College of Education, a project that they are completing. Pictured from left are Walker, fourth-graders Misha Padigala and Jessica Minelli.

Students from J.W. Alvey Elementary School show Catherine Walker, adjunct instructor for the UMW College of Education, a project that they are completing. Pictured from left are Walker, fourth-graders Misha Padigala and Jessica Minelli.

Sponsored by the College of Education, the day began with a keynote presentation by Director of Teaching and Learning at UMW Jim Groom who spoke about publishing and archiving student work, UMW blogs, digital storytelling and why K-12 educators should incorporate those tools in the classroom.

“What we do as educators – what we do in higher ed and K-12 – is share a hope. It’s a hope that what we’re doing is framing a whole world of possibility and connections. And the Web is the single greatest tool ever invented to help us build on what we do,” said Groom. “It’s a remarkable world that we live in.”

The conference also included a variety of sessions from “Animoto Movies in Your Class!” to “Expanding Your Web 2.0 Toolkit.” One session, “Frames and Share, You Can Do It!,” featured presentations from J.W. Alvey Elementary School students who created short movies and presentations.

In the afternoon, Margaret Stout, a teacher at Antietam Elementary, introduced participants to Google Glass and demonstrated how she’s using the new technology in her classroom to teach students with autism. The conference ended with a panel discussion about current issues and challenges.

From left to right, seventh-grader Danbi Rhee, second-grade teacher Roxanne Edwards, third-grade teacher Juliette Snyder and sixth-grader Ben Kopek introduce EdTech participants to Frames and Shares and explain how it can be used in an elementary classroom.

From left to right, seventh-grader Danbi Rhee, second-grade teacher Roxanne Edwards, third-grade teacher Juliette Snyder and sixth-grader Ben Kopek introduce EdTech participants to Frames and Shares and explain how it can be used in an elementary classroom.

Teresa Coffman, associate professor in the College of Education,  and Tami Pratt-Fartro, assistant professor in the College of Education, helped to create the annual conference four years ago with the goal of forming a regional network of educators who come together to share great teaching practices. That goal has remained intact.

“I want people to build connections and community. I want them to think about their pedagogy in new and different ways and to use technology to foster learning in the classroom to engage their students to think critically and creatively,” said Coffman. “I want people to explore professional development in new and exciting ways.”