As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly fast pace, the Eau Claire school district has aimed to offer teaching and learning practices based on technology of all kinds.
And next week, the district will showcase some of its best practices at its first ever Ed Tech Showcase.
The event — slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Pablo Center at the Confluence, 128 Graham Ave. — will feature more than 16 presentations of how technology is directly implemented with curriculum for students of all ages.
Andrea Fleishauer, a technology coordinator at the district, said the district’s Instructional Technology Leadership team decided to launch the event in an effort to share the district’s best practices relating to technology with parents, educators and other community members, while also showing how those practices can directly relate to curriculum at all levels.
As a sixth-grade teacher for six years, Fleishauer witnessed firsthand how technology continually evolved — and that pace seems to only increase over time. And, as more careers become technology-focused, it has become all the more important to educate K-12 students about all kinds of technology as it becomes available so that students can be prepared to keep up into adulthood.
“Some of the jobs our students are going to be working in aren’t even created yet, but they’re technology based and that just keeps changing and changing,” Fleishauer said. “So we want to make sure students know how to adapt and utilize technology in the best possible way for learning.”
The event will feature booths that each detail different technology-enhanced practices, Fleishauer said.
One district technique that will be highlighted, Fleishauer said, is the use of green screens for history and research lessons in schools across the district. For example, Fleishauer said some students while studying ancient Rome get to “travel” to the Colosseum through the green screen to better understand it.
Other techniques that will be highlighted include using an app called ChatterPix, which enables students and teachers to make photos talk, for insect research, using virtual reality to study the Incas and coding with robots and the app Tynker Coding for Kids. Students will also be at the event to showcase recently completed projects.
Drew Seveland, academic services coordinator for the district, said because technology-enhanced practices are driven by individual teachers, they tend to get siloed to one or two schools. He hopes that offering the opportunity to share teachers’ unique practices will bring forth more shared ideas.
“We have incredibly innovative people all across our district,” Seveland said. “We hope this cross-pollinates ideas throughout the district. ... And we’re hoping that this is something that can grow in future years.”