Teachers learning technology to pass knowledge to students

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The school year has ended for most students in the Selma City School System, but class was still in session on Wednesday for 12 teachers who had to demonstrate

a final project for their technology training workshop.

In the conference room of the school system’s central office, a teacher from each city school sat at a long table with their laptops open and ready, waiting on their turn to do a PowerPoint presentation on the computer technology they used in the classroom throughout the year.

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The presentations marked the end of a year long Technology in Motion training program conducted by the Central Alabama Regional Education Inservice Center.

Led by Instructional Technology Specialist Shawndra Johnson, the teachers met each month to develop activities that use technology to engage, motivate and interest students.

“We learned about the different kinds of technology and to be more open to use them in the classroom,” said Donald Meyer, a second-grade teacher from Byrd Elementary School.

Throughout the year, the teachers said they were taught how to use PowerPoint, examine different types of software, and collaborated on designing classroom projects that had to be implemented.

At their last meeting on Monday, the teachers took turns showcasing the technology-based projects they implemented in the classroom, and discussed the problems they faced and offered suggestions for future use.

Dr. Verdell Dawson, the City School System’s Technology Coordinator, said this workshop was the first of its kind for the school district.

“We wanted to explore ways to help teachers feel comfortable using technology,” Dawson said. “Through Technology in Motion, we were able to help elevate their learning about technology.”

Johnson said the teachers in her workshops had varying degrees of familiarity with computers and software, but they all managed to succeed by the end of the year.

“All of them were pretty good with their presentations,” Johnson said. “I’m amazed at what they have done.”

Now that the workshops have ended, Johnson said she hopes the teachers will continue working together to collaborate on technology projects and use them in the classroom.

Dawson said programs like Technology in Motion are important because they help teachers enhance their ability to teach, which is part of the No Child Left Behind Act.

“At one time, technology was all about acquiring technology,” Dawson said. “Now, they have all the stuff, they need to know how to use it to teach the kids.”