Valdosta Daily Times

February 16, 2013

Lowndes schools personnel turn out for technology expo

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Teachers and staff from across the Lowndes County School system gathered at Pine Grove Elementary and Pine Grove Middle School Thursday for the Loco Techno Expo.

“This year, we have 130 scheduled sessions, and over 120 of those are led by our teachers,” said Lowndes County Schools Technology Director Al Rowell. “With some sessions being taught by partners, we actually have over 140 teachers involved in presenting for this event.”

This is the third year the school system has hosted the staff development seminar that all faculty and staff must attend. Organized by Rowell, the Techno Expo gives teachers the opportunity to branch out into technology that can be implemented in the classroom.

“We have had very positive responses to our past two tech expos from our faculty and staff,” said Rowell. “We see teachers taking the ideas shared on this one day and replicating them in their classrooms to engage their students and to improve their achievement.”

The expo not only maximizes the investment that Lowndes County Schools has made in instructional technology, but it also maximizes the potential of every teacher as each new piece of technology makes learning and teaching easier, more fluid and often fun.

Fourth-grade Lake Park Elementary School teacher Joy Robinson has attended all Techno Expos held by the county, and this year, she even presented.

“I presented on some of the websites that address the new standards,” said Robinson.

According to Robinson, the expo is incredibly valuable and helpful because it’s not some stranger or company coming in and trying to sell a product, it’s other teachers who actually utilize the technology in their classrooms.

“I like it because it’s the teachers presenting. ... The people who are actually using the tools in the classroom,” said Robinson.

Some seminars tackled teacher organization. One in particular was a tutorial on how to use Live Binders.

“We’re learning how to have an online binder to collect all of our things that can be accessed from anywhere in the world,” said Dewar Elementary School teacher Missy LeFiles.

According to Rowell, the most valuable commodity for teachers is time.

“What we had found is that we had teachers doing great things in isolation, but we never had the time to share their successes,” said Rowell.

This expo is a convenient and time-efficient way for teachers to learn new things and teach new things that, in turn, will also save them time in the classroom.

“The tech expo provides the opportunity for us to come together as one faculty across the system to see how other teachers are using technology to enhance instruction in their classrooms,” said Rowell.