Submitted By Deb Rich Herczeg
In late June, a group of Concordia Lutheran School students spent a few days sharing their talents at one of the largest technology conferences in the world, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. Drawing more than 21,000 attendees, the ISTE Conference is the premier annual gathering of educators, school administrators, and innovative technology leaders, as well as creators of e-learning tools, software, and technology. During the conference, a small group of Concordia students acted as instructors and facilitators as teachers engaged in activities on the SMART boards in the conference expo area.
Response from conference attendees was very positive, with many sending tweets about how exciting it was to see students in action. This opportunity for students to showcase learning tools resulted from a unique partnership between Concordia Lutheran School and SMART Technology. Knowing that students could build public speaking skills as well as engage their learning community in a new way, Kelly Miksch, SMART Technology’s Global Education and Advocacy Marketing Manager, and Stefanie Schropp, Concordia’s GT&E (Gifted, Talented and Extension) teacher, gathered a group of motivated students earlier this spring to begin working.
Concordia has SMART boards in every classroom, so the students were familiar with basic operations. However, when the new software features were introduced and the students began to explore, they were blown away by the interactive and adaptable offerings. Their enthusiasm continued through the spring when they conducted staff training at Concordia. When SMART invited students to partner with them at ISTE in June, students happily gave their time. The crowd size didn’t stop these motivated learners, who stepped out of their comfort zones and showed teachers from all over the world what SMART can do for their students.
“I felt like a grown up,” said fourth grader Carlos Roig. “I loved the feeling of teaching adults what I have learned about SMART Technologies.”
After the conference, Kelly Miksch and Stefanie Schropp were overjoyed with the results of the partnership.
“Wow…is all I can say!” said Kelly. “The students from Concordia exceeded all our expectations and won the hearts of SMART.”