More than 600 students, administrators, faculty and technology leaders from 88 New York school districts, NERIC leadership and staff, educational technology providers and members of the Capital Region BOCES administrative team and board of education gathered on Dec. 11 at the Radisson Albany Hotel/Wolf Road in Colonie for NERIC’s 27th Annual Technology Awareness Day.
This annual event showcases innovation in education and offers participants a chance to learn about the cutting-edge technologies being used in classrooms today.
The theme of this year’s Tech A-Day was “Transforming Schools — Reinventing Education with Technology.” Many examples of innovation happening in and outside of the classroom through the use of technology — from “flipped” student-driven learning approaches to online games, such as Minecraft, as effective learning platforms — were offered up as inspiration for school leaders interested in moving their districts toward a “School 3.0” approach to teaching and learning.
"Throughout the day, there were so many exciting examples of technology-fueled teaching and learning that are already happening at the '3.0' level," said NERIC Director Dale Breault. “Everyone — from the school district participants and vendor partners to our NERIC staff — was talking about how much they learned, and what they now hope to make happen in schools and with students.”
Presentations at this year's event by school districts from around the NERIC region centering on transformed teaching and learning included:
This year’s endnote speaker was Travis Allen, an advocate for digital learning in the classroom. The 23-year-old gained Internet fame while still in high school when a video he created about how mobile technology can be used to revolutionize America’s education system went viral on YouTube. Since then, Allen has presented to audiences in more than 40 states and eight countries. Today, in addition to taking college courses at Kennesaw State University, Allen operates iSchool Initiative, a growing organization devoted to the emerging digital learning movement.
Allen's inspirational message, which underlined the message of the day, emphasized the critical need for a shift in the way learning happens in and outside of the classroom — and for students, teachers and others who care about education to become the agents of this change in their districts.
Click here to access Travis Allen's presentation on "Becoming a Lifelong Learner" and other materials from the iSchool Initiative.
Top right: iSchool Initiative President and Founder Travis Allen (fourth from right) and Bethlehem Central School District students pause for a selfie after Allen's endnote to the 2015 Technology Awareness Day.
Lower left: A view of the vendor showcase at the 2015 Technology Awareness Day.
Lower right: Albany City School District students prepare for their presentation at Tech A-Day on "Moving Forward With a Purpose."