On February 16, Washington Community School hosted its 2nd Annual Tech Talk Day. What is a Tech Talk Day? To put into words doesn’t do it justice, but it is really a “must see” in order to comprehend the impact that it had on our staff. There were 30 sessions available for staff to choose from that fits their particular professional development needs. We started the day with Mitch Kelly, with a keynote titled “The Hawkeye Way”. His story of growing up in a single parent home with 4 older brothers and 2 younger sisters, hitchhiking to University of Iowa and becoming a walk-on wrestler, was inspiring to say the least. Mitch also shared his experiences that enhance his own teaching to produce students who understand how important being a good learner is. You see, the day is called Tech Talk Day, but it is really about the use of technology to improve teaching and learning for staff and students.
Sessions for staff included but were not limited to Google Documents, Google Add Ons, Web 2.0 Tools, Class Dojo, Moby Max, Using eBooks, Gamification, Flipped Learning, iPad Creation Tools, Online Assessments, School Pride Forum, Chrome Extensions, Using Chrome to Support Reading and Writing, Social Media 3.0, Research Tools, Makerspaces, and QR Codes. Twitter was also utilized as a way to share information on the day by using the hashtag #washpride. If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, ask any student to show you how or you can view the tweets on Washington Schools by going to our web page. There is a live scrolling list in the top right hand corner.
This format for professional learning is new, and while it can be messy and hard, Washington Schools is committed to this hard work in the future to become a leader in the delivery of regional professional development. Thank you to our District Professional Development Team in planning an outstanding event for not only our staff but also a few staff from neighboring districts. Our teachers modeled in exemplary fashion how teaching and learning are transforming in the 21st Century. While we will celebrate our great learning, our staff and administration will continue to strive to become better at infusing technology into our teaching and learning.
While listening to Mitch Kelly, I had visions of next year at the 3rd Annual Tech Talk Day, a packed crowd listening to our keynote in our new auditorium. The time that was spent setting up chairs, audio and visual equipment, stage, and podium, is something that we will not be spending time on in the future. The auditorium is continuing progress with a heated interior to allow progress during the cold months. This will be another great asset that contributes to make Washington CSD unique.
The Auditorium Committee is trying to reach their fundraising goal by selling sponsorship of seats. Visit their website by typing in: https://goo.gl/UGTLUa and you can check the recent photo album as well as click on “donate” to sponsor a seat.
Open Enrollment Deadline Fast Approaching
The deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2016 for next Fall. This is an important issue for those that chose to make an educational decision that is best for their family. The Tech Talk Day, the new Auditorium and the Stewart Preschool/Daycare addition are just a few reasons to check out Washington Community School District. Feel free to contact the District Central Office at (319)653-6543 to schedule a visit to our district.