At Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, some 400 teachers and school administrators from across the country gathered recently to see the latest in technology to teach and inspire kids in the classroom.
(TNS) —— Bianca Rimbach outlined the brain research that shows how movement improves learning, then showed educators how to create learning treasure hunts using QR codes to get their students active.
Along with theory, her lesson included information on a free and easy QR code creator website and a step-by-step guide to designing a treasure hunt.
"Get these kids moving," she said.
Her Sunday session was part of the Colorado Summit featuring Google for Education hosted over the weekend by the Boulder Valley School District at Erie's Meadowlark K-8.
The sixth annual two-day summit, attended by about 400 teachers and administrators from multiple school districts, focuses on promoting student learning through the use of Google and other digital tools.
Kelly Sain, Boulder Valley's director of educational technology, said this year's summit offered fewer but longer sessions, giving participants more time to practice what they learned and talk about how to use it with students.
"That next level of implementation discussion is really valuable," she said.
Those leading the workshops included both Google certified educators from around the United States and Boulder Valley teachers.
Karen Hoppis, a learning technology coach at Niwot High and Longmont's Sunset Middle School, said she appreciated the opportunity to learn from educators across the country.
"I'm always looking to find and elevate good ideas," she said.
Sessions included coding with drones, makerspaces, using memes in education and the design thinking process.
In a session on podcasts, San Diego teacher Alicia Johal shared all the tips and tricks she's learned using them with her middle school students.
She showed them where to find examples of podcasts to introduce students to the medium and talked about how long students need to spend on pre-production, including writing a script, getting feedback from the class and making revisions.
"You need to have them listen to a podcast so they know what you want them to create," she said. "It's not just a recording."
She also shared a step-by-step podcast guide she wrote for her students. Then, she asked the educators to write a script and record their own.
Broomfield High School world history teacher Kristal Goodell said the podcast workshop was her favorite.
"Students can use content creatively," she said. "It's an authentic experience."
She added that she attended the conference because it's an opportunity for her to switch from teacher mode to learner mode.
"I continually want to learn more about my craft, to refine it and try new things," she said.
Carrie Mutuberria, a first-year teacher at University Schools in Greeley, said her idea for using podcasts in her American Sign Language classes is to ask her students to use sign language to interpret a podcast for adults who are deaf.
"Here, you get to play with the technology and create with it," she said.
University Schools, a K-12 charter that's a Google for Education school, sent 25 staff members to the summit.
"I wanted to learn more about being creative about using technology," said Cora Halmo, an assistant principal at the school. "It can really add to the classroom."
One idea she took from a session on using Adobe Spark was a first grader who took pictures on a school field trip and made a diary, verbally recording his observations to go with the pictures.
"That's more meaningful than having the students answer a couple questions after a field trip," she said.
©2018 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.