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School district holds technology fair for teachers

DEBBIE SKELLEY, Elementary Physical Education teacher (left) and kindergarten teacher Patty Edson worked on creating blogs to communicate with students and parents in a workshop held in the high school lecture hall on Aug. 29, one of 30 offerings during the Technology Fair. Student Sam Coache offered his expertise. Effingham teacher Sarah Olkkola led the blogging workshop. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
September 05, 2013
WOLFEBORO — Teachers from all eight Governor Wentworth Regional School District schools put their thinking caps on and attended a Technology Fair, on Thursday, Aug. 29, on the Kingswood campus to extend their knowledge on integrating technology into the classroom.

The day began at the Kingswood Arts Center where teachers could look over the 30 or so offerings and choose workshops to attend throughout the day. Teachers on the Technology Task Force, joined by students conversant in the use of technology, presented information and provided hands-on experience in classrooms in the middle and high schools and the KAC.

Topics included developing the 21st century classroom and preparing students to participate in the global community, how to create an information-rich website or set up a blog to enhance communication with a selected audience, how to get the most out of Google drive, exploring the use of Chrome in the classroom, and how to create talking books.

Carpenter Kindergarten teacher Patty Edson and elementary school physical education teacher Deb Skelley, seated beside one another in Effingham teacher Sarah Olkkola's blogging workshop in the Kingswood lecture hall were intrigued by the communication possibilities of blogging.

"We need to build relationships between school and home," said Edson, who was focused on setting up a blog she titled, "Everyday Happenings." "Who wants to read a monthly newsletter telling about everything that happened in the last month?" she queried. In her opinion, a daily blog about what happened in the classroom that day would have more interest and generate more immediate questions, which she could quickly answer.

Skelley was interested in setting up blogs to communicate with members of her Hot Peppers Jump Rope Club and informing her captains about what members needed to prepare for upcoming events.

Hands were going up as teachers sought help from Olkkola and high school junior Sam Coache.

In another presentation, Ossipee Central School's Librarian Ann Rowe guided teachers through a Google Aps presentation titled "Goodbye PowerPoint," demonstrating how to link media to a slide show, create interesting visuals and link presentations to email, a website or a blog.

In addition to the workshops, the program included presentations by teachers in the Arts Center demonstrating electronic testing and scoring used in the Social Studies department and the use of Drop Box as a means to collect assignments electronically.

The youngest presenter, Marcella DeNitto, took a turn at the podium with her second grade teacher, Cherie Greeley, to share a video she made last year and a poem via the big screen in the Arts Center. Greeley talked about the use of technology in the elementary classroom.

Midday, teachers listened to "Google Evangelist" Jamie Cassup via video chat.

Members of the Technology Task Force serving as resources to their peers in all the schools are: Sarah Olkkola, Ann Rowe, Kyra Dulmage, Cherie Greeley, Amy Ribeau, Cara McNevich, Rick Davidson, Rebecca Bureau, Karen Libby, Aaron Gouthier, Al Poirier, Kara Jacobs, Allison Wasson, Kim Nottage, Cathy Koukal and Kathy Cuddy-Egbert.

Presenters not on the task force were Mike Abraham, Karon Place, Jo Williams and Patti Morrissey.

The Technology Fair offered a continuation and expansion of information on the use of technology tools to enhance classroom learning and communication just prior to the opening of the 2013-14 school year.

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