Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015
More than 240 future teachers from the Upstate were on hand at Mauldin High School for iTeach: What’s Your Superpower?
Rachel Turner, Mauldin High Teacher Cadet instructor and coordinator of the conference, said, “The iTeach conference is designed to show the students what’s in the future for education. With a focus on 21st Century skills, the sessions show high school juniors and seniors what it will be like when they become teachers in just a few short years.”
Mauldin High principal Scott Rhymer led the opening session, using demonstrations involving inkwells, pens, encyclopedias, and iPads and to show how much education has changed over the years.
“When these young people become teachers, it might be unheard of to use an iPhone. We don’t even know what tools they will have in the future, but we can give them the skills that a good teacher possesses and encourage them to find their own superpower,” explained Turner. One common denominator among all teachers, she said, is the concept of service. They are learning to teach a student’s heart before teaching their head,” she explained.
Fork Shoals School fifth grade teacher Heather Steading taught a course in Edmodo and Corkulous, programs that encourage students to present ideas and have discussions about books they’re reading. She said her students are reading more and getting recommendations from their peers about new books to read.
A session in Google Classroom was presented by Jennifer Loftis, a Lakeview Middle School sixth grade teacher. “It’s a great application that helps differentiate among different types of learners,” she said. “The teacher can post and have different types of activities for the students that encourage collaboration,” she said. “With Google Classroom I can be helping one student on his computer and on my Chromebook I can check their changes they’ve made to their papers. I may not be sitting next to them, so it’s almost like I can be in two places at once.”
She continued, saying, “We’re also working on 21st Century skills. We were inserting dialogue into papers, and some students didn’t know how to use the shift key. They’re so used to texting that they’re not capitalizing the “i.” It’s great for working on their grammar.”
Lauren King, a junior Greenville High Academy, was excited that she learned how to use Quizlet. “It’s a study app where you can study and have flash cards and note cards,” she said. She thought this app would be helpful when she becomes an elementary school teacher.
Ricardo Gonzalez, a junior at Greer High, said he enjoyed hearing what other teachers had to say about the profession. He plans to study education at the University of Georgia with the goal of becoming a middle school teacher.