"There's a bit of fear involved, because a lot of adults didn't grow up with technology," says Dr. Kent Medlin, Willard Superintendent.
From iPads to laptops, kids can't get enough. So instead of fighting it, why not use it to teach?
"Instead of getting onto students for using
technology, smart phones in the classroom we're getting to utilize that,"
More than 400 Ozarks area teachers, from 16 districts, flipped the classroom on its side Wednesday at the first annual Teacher Technology Conference.
"Teachers teaching teachers," says Dr. Medlin.
"When a textbook comes out, it's already a
couple of years old, and it's written by a small group of people," says
keynote speaker Dr. Julie Mathiesen, Director at Technology & Innovation in
Dr. Mathiesen is an expert in customized learning. Students learning at their speed and teachers teaching at theirs.
"For instance, learning your times tables. It's probably still important because it's ready knowledge that we need. But it's not the best use of a human resource to teach someone a times table. That could probably be done best with some kind of computer game that's engaging."
With the world at their fingertips, teachers can collaborate with educators across the world. And instead of reading about experts, why not encourage students to talk to them directly?
From tapping into distant libraries to watching history unfold in real time, customized learning may only be a few keystrokes away.
"The activities that are happening in
"Our teachers are great," says Dr. Mathiesen. "Our leaders are great. It's really the institution of schooling that we need to shift and bend a bit in order to meet the needs of students today."
The Missouri Department of Education expects more tech summits around the state. Wednesday's was part of the Ozarks Education Research Initiative.