In March, a group of 11 Harker teachers traveled to Palm Springs for the annual conference of Computer Using Educators, a nonprofit organization that explores ways in which technology can be used to enhance learning experiences.
The teachers who attended the conference had different topics they wanted to explore. For instance, some of the lower school teachers enjoyed hearing about HyperDocs, a concept in which a Google doc is connected to other teaching materials using hyperlinks. HyperDocs also can be used to showcase multimedia presentations. “These teachers expressed a desire to begin using this method immediately upon their return to school,” said Diane Main, upper school director of learning, innovation and design.
Teachers also were interested in “student-driven creation of learning experiences,” Main said. To this end, lower school math teacher Eileen Schick investigated how 3-D printing could enhance student math projects and already has begun integrating 3-D printing into her lessons.
One emerging technology caught the attention of upper school Spanish teacher Richard Bailey, who looked into how virtual reality could be used in language classes. “He has already begun pursuing more opportunities to learn about these and has been integrating exciting [virtual reality/augmented reality] experiences in his Spanish classes,” Main reported.
Main said the reaction to the conference was “largely positive.” The teachers enjoyed the opportunity to share their experiences with each other. “It’s easy to tell how enthusiastic teachers are about sharing their learning,” Main said, “as evidenced by their applications for LID Grants this coming summer.”