NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - The West Essex Regional School District in North Caldwell will present its third annual Technology Symposium Saturday, March 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at West Essex High School in North Caldwell.

The theme of this year’s free Symposium is “Trending Now: Technology Tools to Inspire Learning.” About 200 educators, school administrators and members of the public are expected to attend this dynamic event. Renowned Rutgers Professor and educational technology expert Dr. Joyce Valenza will deliver the keynote address on “Metaliteracy: An Unintentional Film Festival or 10 Big Things to Teach and Model in 2014.” Participants will be able to choose from over 40 professional development workshops covering a wide variety of trending topics and applications in educational technology. Breakfast and lunch are included.

This year, #Satchat, a global education conversation that takes place Saturday mornings, will be moderated through WE Tech. Educators and administrators can join #Satchat live through Twitter from 7:30-8:30 a.m. to discuss “Top Technology Tools & Trends for Today’s Connected Educator” with 400 educators from around the globe.

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Last year, more than 180 educators and members of the public spent a Saturday learning about the innovative use of technology in education at the second annual We Tech event. This year will feature more workshops on the use of technology in the elementary classroom. An example of a new workshop this year is “Minecraft: What’s all the fuss about?” Minecraft is an immersive 3D game capturing children’s imaginations worldwide which is now is making its way into schools.

Speakers offering workshops this year include Tom Daccord, Director and Co-Founder of EdTechTeacher, Samantha Morra, an educator and an instructor and presenter for EdTechTeacher, and Tom Murray, Director of Technology and Cyber Education for the Quakertown Community School District in Pennsylvania.

WE Tech attracts teachers, media specialists, and community members from throughout New Jersey who will spend the day attending workshops on everything from digital storytelling to using iPads in the classroom. Many participants said they found last year’s program “inspiring” and said it would make a difference in their classrooms.

The event was initiated by West Essex High School Spanish Teacher Raquel Williams, who approached West Essex Superintendent of Schools Barbara Longo. Mrs. Longo, who is a strong supporter of improving technology at West Essex Regional Schools, embraced the idea and created a committee of administrators and media specialists to launch the first ever West Essex Technology Symposium back in 2012. Williams is also working closely with West Essex Media Specialists Rosemary Rich and Catherine Spinella and West Essex Technology Coordinator Deb Martin to launch the event.

The West Essex Regional School District serves students from grades 7-12 from North Caldwell, Roseland, Essex Fells and Fairfield. The District’s beautiful campus is located in the hills of North Caldwell at 65 W. Greenbrook Road. For symposium information and registration, please go to www.westex.org/wetech. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge. Updates are also available on Twitter with hashtag #wetech14.

West Essex is also look for sponsors for the event. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor for the symposium should e-mail Ryan Gupta, Director of Curriculum & Instruction at rgupta@westex.org.