Johnston County Schools Digital Learning Team members, Amy Stanley, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation and Pam Batchelor, Digital Learning Specialist, recently presented at the 37th annual Future of Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Fla.
FETC is the nation’s largest technology conference with representation from all 50 states and 40 countries. It annually attracts thousands of education and technology leaders from around the world.
The conference has a reputation of delivering strategies and best practices for student success and school wide advancement. Recognized for its outstanding program year after year, FETC provides CTOs, CIOs, Innovation Directors, Special Ed/Pupil Services Directors, Early Childhood Directors, Media Specialists, Technologists, Administrators and other Educators, the opportunity to explore the most effective integration of technology across the curriculum — from PK-12 — through premium sessions, intensive workshops, various concurrent sessions, live demonstrations of several hundred hardware and software products, plus much more.
Batchelor shared the district’s Digital Learning Coach program. The program has built a network of teacher leaders at the school level. Classroom teachers are guided through an online professional learning course based on ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards for teachers and then receive personal coaching in a pathway of their choice. The program is now in the fourth year of implementation across the Johnston County Schools district.
Stanley shared the Digital Learning team’s Lunch, Laugh and Learn strategy, which reinforces the idea that Learning can happen anywhere, learning can happen anytime, and learning can be fun. The Johnston County Digital Learning Team created Lunch, Laugh and Learn to show students and teachers that learning can happen anywhere, at anytime.
Lunch, Laugh, and Learn is a way for students to explore new technology and develop inquiry skills while having fun at lunch. Learning is a social and emotional process. The students are engaged in a fun and personal way. The interactive stations include augmented reality apps, virtual reality with Google Cardboard, green screen pictures, stop motion video, Incredibots Music Creation, Makey Makey games, and coding with Sphero. Students are not required to visit all the stations, and the interactions are a non-threatening way to engage them with a new thought or idea in hopes that it might spark further exploration or even a career interest.
Both presentations were well received and many districts and individuals from across the nation connected with the Digital Learning Team to continue sharing ideas.