On June 7, Harker hosted its ninth annual Teacher Institute, inviting teachers from schools all over the Bay Area to attend a wide variety of workshops intended to improve their teaching methods and their understanding of instructional technologies.
The event was organized by Harker’s instructional technology department and sponsored by Silicon Valley Computer-Using Educators (SVCUE). Each of the Teacher Institute’s three sessions consisted of a number of classes that visiting teachers were free to visit. In one class Diane Main, upper school instructional technology director, showed how a special educational version of the popular online game Minecraft could be used for teaching purposes. At another, teachers learned digital grading techniques from middle school English teacher Mark Gelineau. Other workshops included lower school history teacher Jared Ramsey’s class on different ways to assess history projects, a class on using Google Drive to improve creative writing classes, taught by middle school English teacher Patricia Lai Burrows, and a presentation on the use of Google Chromebooks by lower school instructional technology director Lisa Diffenderfer.
“There were so many things we are going to take back to our school,” said Julia Maynard, a language arts and social studies teacher at Parkside Middle School in San Bruno. “I have been to several tech conferences, and this was by far the most beneficial!”
“The sessions were much more informative than many tech conferences that I have been to lately,” said Kristy Simmons, a teacher at San Bruno’s Crestmoor Elementary. “The wide array of topics, the dynamic presenters, the beautiful campus and the fabulous lunch all made for an enjoyable day of learning.”