Educational Technology Rookie? A Novice No More

July 27, 2011—After thirteen years of teaching Rhonda Meadows will be facing a new classroom this year. And no, it’s not just another set of fresh freshmen faces. She will again be teaching English to ninth graders at Perquimans County High School, but these curious eyes will be peering over laptops eager to follow her lead.

Meadows attended the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation’s Leading Innovation Institute last week for teachers and administrators to explore best practices for 1:1 implementation as well as teaching and learning in a 1:1 environment.

“Participating in this professional development training was a wonderful experience for me,” said Meadows planning to teach in her first classroom with each student having a laptop this fall. “This type of workshop was also an eye-opener in so many ways given my limited knowledge and skills using technology-based instruction in my lesson plans and teaching.”

Education specialists at NC State University led teams through two intensive institutes—one for administrators and the other for teachers. The focus of this professional development is providing educational leaders at the state, district and school levels with the knowledge and skills necessary for planning and implementing innovative educational programs that enable teachers to use 21st century tools and resources to teach 21st century content skills.

“This is our fourth year hosting 1:1 Leading Innovation and the Institute has definitely evolved over time,” said Verna Lalbeharie, senior research associate. “One of the perks of being at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation is that we sit at the intersection of research and practice and that’s an exciting place to be! Every year we try something new based on current research, lessons learned, and emerging teacher and administrator needs, making each session rigorous, meaningful for participants, and unique.”

Meadows particularly benefited from the opportunity to network with teachers across the state, “I enjoyed collaborating and sharing that took place in the breakout sessions with teachers from other schools. This opportunity allowed us to listen to others share their expertise, and ideas about lesson planning and reflect on what works and don’t work with technology resources they have used in their individual classroom lessons and activities with students.”

A highlight of the teacher institute for Meadows was a break out session that worked on lesson planning, “This session was very helpful for me because I had the chance to present a new lesson plan that I am currently creating for the beginning of the school year. As a result, I received good constructive criticism from other English teachers in all different grade levels that really helped me revisit what I had created and make it better.”

The Friday Institute hosted around 100 teachers and administrators last week from across North Carolina in the fourth annual Leading Innovation Institute.

Click here to view pictures from the institute.

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