TD3’s First Annual Tech Showcase A Huge Success
Is there anything more exciting than the joining of education and technology? A recent study revealed that education-technology (EdTech) has helped redesign classrooms to promote hands-on learning and further prepare students for the workforce. Educators across the nation are finding new ways to become technology coaches in their classroom, further reaching their students’ individual needs and wants to guide their instruction.
In response to supporting advancements in EdTech, Tempe Elementary School District ceremoniously kicked off their first annual Tech Showcase on Wednesday, October 12. Nearly 400 TD3 educators attended the event to learn and share their knowledge of integrating technology into the classroom.
“I think it’s important for my class to use technology from day one,” said Rachel Ann Rush, kindergarten teacher at Scales Technology Academy. “It’s definitely fun sharing my experiences and learning what else is available.”
Bustoz Professional Learning Center hosted 20 vendors and community members, and over 100 TD3 educators who were able to show off the latest EdTech apps, project-based-learning (PBL) projects, and examples of their students’ work. The showcase was split into two, one-hour sessions so that teachers who presented were also able to walk around and learn from their peers.
The idea for the TD3 Tech Showcase was made possible by Tempe Elementary’s EdTech team, a subset of the Instructional Excellence Department. Technology Integration Specialists, Cindy Inman and Jennifer Kaupke along with their team passionate about technology integration, came up with the idea of the Tech Showcase after attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2016 Conference and Expo over the summer.
“The showcase gives our teachers a chance to show off what they already know, as well as collect new ways for integrating technology into their classroom,” said Inman. “It’s a great way to celebrate and learn from their ideas!”
As strong proponents of technology themselves, TD3 principals were also involved as participants and presenters at the Tech Showcase. Principals played an integral part in encouraging teachers to attend and present at the event.
“I think this is an excellent opportunity for our teachers to learn about the technology available to them and be able to implement it into their classrooms the very next day,” said Wendy Reeck, principal of Carminati Elementary.
The TD3 Tech Showcase not only featured the latest in EdTech, but also offered fun extras, like free Kona Ice and popcorn for attendees, a photobooth, and an “Escape the Bus” team building activity, called Breakout Bus.
Teachers and TD3 leaders who signed up for the Breakout Bus worked together to solve word puzzles, math problems, and mazes to unlock boxes which would help them “break out” of the TD3 school bus, which was adorned with spooky Halloween decorations.
The EdTech team arranged a variety of prizes and giveaways throughout the event. As a reward for highest attendance, Thew Elementary teachers received a set of codable robots and professional development on how to use them in the classroom. Aguilar Elementary teachers received a one-year subscription to BrainPOP ESL, a comprehensive English language learning program that uses highly engaging animated movies to model conversational English, for the entire school as the runner-up prize.
“We definitely plan to continue the Tech Showcase next year,” said Inman. “We’re very happy with the turnout and proud of our teachers.”
To view photos, videos, and learn more about the TD3 Tech Showcase, please visit http://td3techshowcase.weebly.com/. For a full list of community partners involved in the event, please visit http://td3techshowcase.weebly.com/community-partners.html