Carroll ISD’s third annual Virtual Technology Conference is back with a day full of virtual learning, available at any location. All participants need is an internet connection, laptop or computer, and have registered for sessions online. The conference will take place on Thursday, Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The conference will consist of four 90-minute sessions, each worth 1.5 professional development flex hours, with the opening and closing sessions lasting only 15 minutes each. CISD Superintendent Dr. David Faltys will present the opening session, followed by sessions featuring Instructional Technology Specialists and classroom teachers from various Carroll campuses. The sessions cover material varying from Twitter usage to infographics, and how these tools can be used in creative ways in the classroom. Randy Stuart, Executive Director of Technology, will lead the closing session to wrap up the conference.
“It is a different way to provide professional development for our teachers,” said Gay Grissom, Instructional Technology Specialist. “It is a very interactive conference, where attendees can ask questions and use a chat window on the computer.”
“Learning anytime, anywhere continues to be our goal. We have seen great participation in past Virtual Conferences and anticipate strong participation this year. This year’s virtual learning conference will provide training in tools for readers’ and writers’ workshop, infographics, Google docs, project-based learning, flipping classroom instruction, virtual homework processes, creative flipcharts, and BYOT,” said Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Dr. JJ Villarreal.
The concept of virtual professional development in Carroll ISD began in 2010. It was evident within the district that many teachers had scheduling conflicts which prohibited them from attending professional development seminars on summer days. The webinar idea dismissed the conflicts for many, allowing more teachers to attend these virtually, at a location convenient to them.
“Teachers are very involved this year,” said Gay Grissom. For the first and second year of the conference, only Instructional Technology Specialists led the sessions. This year, the ITS team has branched out and are instructing various teachers on how to lead sessions in the webinar.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership of our Executive Director for Technology, Mr. Randy Stuart and our Instructional Coaches who have developed this learning, anytime, anywhere day,” said Dr. Villarreal. This year’s conference was created by a team of four Instructional Technology Specialists, made up by Gay Grissom, Jennifer Waldroop, Kristi Johnson, and Sherry Brott.
This conference is a great opportunity for educators to participate in sessions that are meaningful and relevant to today’s learners. Teachers can earn up to 6.5 staff flex hours as well as be eligible to win prizes such as an iPad mini, an iPod shuffle, and a myriad of other valuable prizes. Participants must be registered for all sessions, including the opening and closing sessions, to be eligible for the giveaways. It is not too late to register for the conference. Register for sessions in Eduphoria and select the VTC2013 category.