The TIW is a virtual professional development workshop to help educators enhance their curriculum by learning about integrating new technology integration methods. Educators update a unit plan, participate in a corporate virtual job shadow, and learn how to prepare students for their futures.
We spoke to Jen Legatt, a past participant and Technology Integration Specialist at the TIW, and a Library Media Specialist at North Hopkins Junior High School, about her experience with the workshop.
Q: How does this workshop help teachers be able to prepare their students for the “real world”?
A: The TIW allows those in the business world to share tips to teachers to help build the skills and strategies students need to be successful with whatever path they choose. They talk about skills like collaboration and communication, and how those skills can be developed from a very young age to lead to job successes.
Q: How do you think this workshop benefits teachers now that they’ve experienced distance learning?
A: After experiencing distance learning, educators understand the challenge to engage and connect with students. Thoughts from company leaders could help teachers when thinking about bringing distance learning elements into future lessons. For example, what strategies do today’s companies use to connect their users from around the world?
Q: What do you think teachers learn by participating in the job shadow?
A: The job shadow makes this workshop unique. It gets an educator into a work environment different from their schools. Educators can see the different tools that workers use to think outside the box to best meet the needs of their customers. From those experiences, educators can then come back and think of how they can redefine how their own students experience “work” in their learning.
Q: As a former presenter and Technology Integration Specialist, what have you learned from your TIW experience?
A: Every year, I learn from the educators in my group. I learn new concepts as I explore their units. I learn from the “What’s Trending in the Workplace” panel. I learn about how connections are made from around the world. Each year, I walk away with new nuggets of inspiration to use with my own students.
Q: Why did you sign up to be a specialist and what is the favorite part of your role during the workshop?
A: I joined 15 years ago after attending as a participant, when I realized I could help others on their technology integration journey. My favorite part of this role is how much the world has changed in this time. When I first started, the first lessons were how to make PowerPoints or how to use Interactive White Boards. Now, many of our students are using digital tools to connect remotely from home. They are engaging in video chats, creating photo content, and connecting to the world via digital projects. The rapid changing of technology, and the ever-present focus on quality instruction are key elements to why this workshop is the highlight of my summer.
Registration to attend the TIW is open now. Learn more here.