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Bearcat INC Partners with iSchool Initiative For 21st-Century Learning Environment

From Aledo ISD

With the passing of the May 2015 bond, of which more than $9 million is earmarked for technology, the Bearcat Innovation Nation Committee (Bearcat INC) was formed. The committee consists of forward-thinking, innovative educators who collaborated to identify five educational technology goals in order to evaluate and recommend technology devices and applications in the classrooms. Bearcat INC representatives will be advocates on their campuses to help build excitement and support the district’s educational technology initiative.

To further empower these teacher leaders, Bearcat INC has partnered with iSchool Initiative to support the district’s journey to 21st-century teaching and learning. On Feb. 29 through March 2, Aledo ISD hosted the iSchool Initiative Certified Teacher program. During this intense three-day training, iSchool leaders challenged and inspired Bearcat INC participants to be “mobile champions” on their campuses by facilitating a 21st-century learning environment.

Teachers were exposed to a variety of technology applications, but more importantly were empowered to have a growth mindset approach to teaching and learning; therefore, taking the focus off of technology. By the end of day two, the 22 Bearcat INC participants had less than 24 hours to learn a new technology application or concept in order to develop and present their own 30-minute workshop to their peers on day three. Through this experience, participants received constructive feedback from others to make improvements to their workshop before using it to provide summer-learning opportunities for all staff.

Vandagriff Elementary first-grade teacher Nicole Adkins said, “It has made me look at my teaching style and how to benefit my students to get them ready for next year and the real world.”

Keely Hulme, eighth-grade math teacher at Aledo Middle School, said, “Thank you so much for this training! It was wonderful! … My mind just keeps going and going, thinking about new ideas for my classroom.”

“It is about providing a safe learning environment for teachers/students to take risks and to push them beyond their comfort zones in order to make learning more relevant and rigorous,” said April Riley, Aledo instructional technology specialist.

Members of Bearcat INC include Lauren Christenson, Meagann Shaunfield, Jacqueline Berkovsky, Emily Felker, Julie Johnson, Carrie Young, Patti Faulkner, Rebekah Getz, Jamie Turner, Nicole Adkins, Emma Cyrocki, Ashley Hill, Sara Reed, Kathy Evetts, Amanda Sudderth, Keely Hulme, Jake Bean, Arlene Shelton, Dan Shedd, Anita Callaway, Karey Moore, Julie Reynolds, and April Riley; and iSchool Initiative Trainers Travis Allen, Arvin Ross, Annice Silimon, and Erin Giblin.S

More Information about the iSchool Certified Teacher Program: http://www.ischoolinitiative.com/isi-teachers


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