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T21 Speaker Series returns with tech sessions for educators, new ‘Appy Hour’

Attendees to Cassandra Mattoon's T21 session were enabled to work directly with preschool students from Thomas Metcalf Schools with iPad apps.

An Illinois State education major discovers an iPad application with a preschooler from Metcalf School during a T21 Speaker Series session last spring.

The College of Education’s Teaching in the 21st Century (T21) Speaker Series is held from noon–2 p.m. every Friday through November 1. The series helps prepare educators to effectively use technology in the modern classroom.

Admission is free, and registration is open to teacher education majors, alumni, faculty, and staff. Refreshments will be served.

Each Friday at noon, technologists from the field of education will lead interactive learning sessions on emerging technologies and their uses. Sessions will be held in the college’s newly redesigned Exploratorium (308 DeGarmo Hall), a collaborative student-learning environment equipped with the latest cutting-edge technologies from the field.

“During the speaker series, the Exploratorium will enable attendees to not only see instructional technologies in action, but to try them out for themselves,” said Alex Fishel, assistant EdTech coordinator in the College of Education.

Each week features a new speaker and different use for instructional technology.

“We strategically selected educators from a variety of grade levels and school environments to allow attendees to hear from a range of perspectives,” said Fishel.

In addition to the speaker sessions, a new learning opportunity called “Appy Hour” has been added to the schedule. These workshops offer concise advice on a variety of educational apps and will be led by Alex Schroeder ’11, who teaches at St. Ambrose Catholic School in Godfrey. Students can attend Appy Hour from 2–3 p.m., Monday–Thursday, through the end of the semester.

Schroeder’s Appy Hour will begin with a short introduction of the app followed by a demonstration. Attendees will then explore the technology for themselves.

Schroeder’s aim is to give attendees ideas and encouragement for using apps effectively in their teacher preparation courses and classrooms. He sees the value of having this engaging and easy-to-use technology from day one.

“Whatever a teacher’s need is, there is probably an intuitive app that can service that need,” Schroeder said.

The conclusion of the T21 Speaker Series will be followed by the college’s annual technology conference, Teaching in the 21st Century Conference (T21Con), which is scheduled for November 5 in the Brown Ballroom in the Bone Student Center. T21Con registration is now open.

 

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