MILLBURN, NJ - In the doldrums of August, the very last thing on the minds of both students and teachers is going to school for the day. It is more important to soak up those last few days of summer sunshine before the marathon starts all over again.
But for several dozen teachers, heading to Millburn High School on Wednesday was well worthwhile.
The school hosted a "Tech Splash" EdCamp, where teachers learned in a collaborative environment about a wide variety of technology topics, including smart projector boards, robotics, utilizing twitter and esports.
It's an absolute pleasure to be able to bring this to Millburn Township Public Schools for the second year and invite all the educators from around the state," said Kate Diskin, Millburn's newly-confirmed assistant superintendent. "We'd like to thank some of the friends that have come from around the New Jersey Literacy Association (NJLA). The NJLA brought quite a few [participants] here."
Diskin also thanked Heinemann educational materials for helping to sponsor breakfast and
"It means that we're coming together as a collaborative community," Diskin said. "To talk a lot about how technology can support our classroom, our teachers, our educators and most importantly our students."
Additionally, Diskin thanked several people for their work, including Holly Foley, Millburn's Supervisor of Curriculum instruction, Greg Jablonski, who also works in the same role and Evan Abramson, who is the director of technology in Millburn Township Public Schools.
Throughout the course of the seminar, teachers broke up into groups for various discussion, rooms in the mill and library were utilized, as were classrooms in the school building proper. Educators were able to effectively teach on multiple topics. One of those educators was Dani Haggerty, who was presenting on Jamboards.
Haggerty is a computer teacher at Washington School. For her presentation, she showcased some of the programs that her school had implemented on jamboards, in order to bring smart projector technology into the classroom. For Haggerty, being able to impart digital literacy to educators is of major importance.
"I think it's very important in our day and age to kind of help students navigate the whole digital realm," Haggerty said. "Kind of getting our teachers comfortable, giving them a plethora of tools and strategies and having them talk to other teachers about how they use those skills will just make our students more proficient in navigating the digital world."
Haggerty also said that it was a great turnout and that the people who came to the seminar were excited to come into the new school year with technological expertise.
One of those teachers was Arielle Goldstein. A tech facilitator in the Millburn school district with grades 6-12, Goldstein works to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom in a smoother manner.
"There were teachers showing not just the tool, but how they're actually using the tool in their classroom to improve students' learning," Goldstein said. "And I think will affect anyone who attended these sessions. I think it was great that we had teachers K through 12 in attendance as well as people in instructional coach positions and supervisors and leaders."
"It was so nice to be able to learn from each other," Goldstein added.
The next EdCamp will take place in the school year, although a definitive date has not yet been picked out.