Administrator’s were curious as to the best way to exemplify the use of instructional technology to parents within the Mahopac community. Our district is about a year and half into their Google Suite for Education implementation and were looking for ways to showcase some of the work teachers and students have done throughout the year. The original idea was to have me present on our technology program and outline some of the highlights of projects within the district. The only problem with this model is who wants to see the “tech guy” speak for an hour on instructional technology?
As much as I appreciated the opportunity to speak and show the work we have done throughout the year, I wanted something more. If you have ever been to ISTE’s annual conference, aside from the keynotes the personal highlight for me are the student and teacher led poster board sessions. These are sessions where you get to speak with students who tell you exactly what’s going on within their classrooms and the dialogue is truly authentic. They will tell you everything you want to know about a given project and they are not shy! In a model similar to this, we wanted to be able to replicate the same environment for our instructional technology night.
We had all three of our elementary schools represented by at least four to five teachers from all different grade levels and subject areas along with three to five students per class to show and explain everything they used with instructional technology. Students were able to show projects they have completed or were currently working on, and some of them gave tutorials to parents and other attendees on how to use various technology tools. They were also able to demonstrate some of their different computer science and robotics projects. With the high level of student involvement, there was an enormous amount of parent and community attendance. I measured the overall success of the evening not only on the number of attendees we had, but by the level of engagement they had with our teachers and students throughout the evening. It was a great evening for the entire Mahopac community and it was all at the hands of our great teachers and students!
John Sebalos has been an instructional technology specialist for the past ten years in the Metro NYC area. He received his Masters in Education in Educational Technology from Pace University and has an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University. As a Google for Education Certified Innovator, he has led and piloted several Google for Education initiatives. He is a member of the Rockland Teachers Center policy board and has taught in-service and graduate level courses. You can follow John on Twitter @JCSEdTech and on Google Plus +JohnSebalos.