Why would more than 2000 educators leave their schools and spend the day at another district high school? They wanted to find out the latest methods available to educate their students using the newest technology! The theme of the recent 15th Annual Technology Conference “Mapping the Future of Digital Learning” aligns with the paths that education methods are taking, where digital and innovative practices are used in the classroom and paper and pencils are a thing of the past.
As in the previous conferences, a variety of nationally known speakers were featured, a large offering of breakout sessions, a leadership track, and an extensive vendor hall.
The District’s Technology Team created an outstanding line up of speakers that brought energy and inspiration to the attendees. Keynote speaker, Kevin Honeycutt, engaged with the audience by sharing his experiences of growing up in poverty and attending schools in cities all around the country.
He brought his personal life experiences and sense of humor to encourage teachers to “integrate technology in your curriculum and to visualize the way our children will work and study in the future.”
“It was impressive to see so many teachers and administrators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County and surrounding counties come together to learn new technological advancements that they can bring into their classrooms,” said Gary Weidenhamer, Director of Educational Technology.
The closing speaker, Ken Shelton, was able to share his expertise as a middle school technology teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher and Discovery STAR Educator. He believes that hands-on experiences are what provide students with the knowledge they need and teachers can make their curriculum more interactive by incorporating photography, visual learning and other educational technology features.
Other featured speakers included Angela Maiers, Owner and Lead Consultant at Maiers Educational Services; Dr. Mark Benno, Area Development Manager for Apple; Lance Rougeux, Co-founder of the Purple Feet Foundation; and Hall Davidson, founder of www.kitzu.org.
An interesting aspect of this conference is the inclusion of student talent. The Technology Conference Program cover was designed by Jorge Aguilar, a student at Santaluces High School. Jorge won $500, plus both he and his teacher, Tony Asci, will receive a suite of Adobe software. South Tech Academy student, Mia Fielding, was the second place winner, taking home a prize of $250. Her classmate, Rocky Jimenez, earned $100 as the third place winner. Their sponsoring teacher is Adam Fiveson.
Aaron Hurley, from John I. Leonard High School, was the 1st place winner of the Pat Oliphant Memorial Student Technology Service Scholarship. Using skills learned at both his school and in the Digital Connectors program, Aaron volunteered at the Gaines Park Youth Empowerment Center. He helped install the computer network and helped teach other students how to create digital videos and digital portfolios. He also participated in a literacy project where he assisted in publishing poems and other writings for download from the Apple App Store.
Michael Kane, of Park Vista Community High School, was the second place winner. The third place winner was Suyash Kumar of Boca Raton Community High School. Christopher Wyckoff, of Santaluces Community High School, was a ﬁnalist.
Over 150 breakout sessions were held throughout the day. Fellow teachers, featured speakers, industry experts, and special guests shared their knowledge about innovative ways to teach and learn. Some of the sessions included speakers from Apple, Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Gizmos, Discovery Education, Pearson, EdLine, Edmodo and many more.
“If you spent just ten minutes at our conference this year, you would have seen passion, dedication, camaraderie, and true love for life-long learning. It is always a blessing to be able to witness our attendees choosing their own paths for learning, and to see them confront their current way of doing things with new and exciting idea; most costing absolutely nothing, and with a minimal investment of time,” said Lee Kolbert, Conference Chair/Dept. of Educational Technology Manager.
The SDPBC Technology Conference is produced by the Educational Technology Team with support from the Division of Information Technology and it is self supporting and made possible with the generous assistance of sponsors and vendors. Their sponsorship provides the necessary funding to have internationally renowned speakers, scholarships for students, prizes, among other things.
This year’s conference sponsors included: Adobe Systems, Inc., Apple, Inc., CDW-G, Discovery Education, eInstruction, Dell, Educational Endeavors: Providers of Reading Plus, GovConnection, Inc., Edgenuity (Education 2020), EdLine (Blackboard Engage), Edmentum, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson School – Pearson Digital Learning – K12 Technologies, Scholastic, Audio Enhancement, Barnes & Noble, Blue Coat Systems, CORE ECS, Curriculum Associates, Edmodo, ExploreLearning, Katz Computer Science, Knovation, Learn360, MIND Research Institute, PC Solution & Integration and ProQuest.
For more information contact Lee Kolbert at (561) 434-8497 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – firstname.lastname@example.org