Tech conference teaches teachers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Tech conference teaches teachers

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NEWELL, Iowa (KTIV) -- A lot of us grew up banging erasers in front of those green, slate chalkboards in our classrooms. From chalk dust, to the digital age.

Right here in Iowa, many schools have put laptop computers in the hands of their students. But, before that technology can make a change in a student's life, teachers have to go back to school.

Not kids, but school officials packed Newell-Fonda High School Wednesday and they're here to learn.

"You get out of something like this what you put into it," says Okoboji High School Principal Brian Downing.

You see these officials either have, or will have, the "one to one" laptop program in their schools. It gives students their own computer, but, teachers want to know how to use the new tech first.

"We're trying to give our teachers a chance to learn from other teachers so they can dig deeper into how to infuse technology into their curriculum," says Jeff Dicks.

Sessions are held all day as English teachers show others some blogging benefits. Video conferencing from across the state is shown, connecting students and teachers like never before. Even the latest music apps are here to track a student's progress in band.

It's a lot of cool technology on display, but what's really cool is what teachers and administrators are learning after the sessions.

Sioux Center English teacher Erin Olson's students blog in her classroom. Wednesday, she says she walked away with a few new ideas.

"There are two web tools that I have not used that I am going to check out "Edmoto" and "Grouply" and that's another way to connect students to have discussions," says Olson.

Okoboji High School principal Brian Downing says the conference changed his perspective on technology in general.

"The one constant in our world is change, things are changing at an exponential rate and what were trying to do is not keep ahead of that curve, but keep up with it," says Downing.

These are new ideas for nearly everyone, but it's up to these "would be" students, to make them a reality.

Okoboji was one of the schools at the conference. Seventh and eighth graders in that district will start a "one to one" laptop program as soon as tomorrow.

The high school has plans to get them next school year.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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