The eighth annual NETT Conference was held at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville Wednesday, June 20, with a number of speakers on hand to present overviews of the most popular classroom tools in current educational technology, as well as several vendors exhibiting their latest hardware and software.
The conference is specifically designed for educators of all levels and disciplines to learn new and enhance existing technology skills for their classrooms. It is sponsored by LaCUE (Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators) Region 2 and NETT ( Northshore Excellence in Teaching with Technology).
Approximately 235 people attended the event, with Kindergarten through high school educators coming from across southeast Louisiana, including Lafayette, for the all-day conference. The keynote address was given by Leslie Fisher of Fisher Technologies, who spoke on technological change, what impacts such technology has had on teachers over the past few decades, and glimpses of what new gadgets are gathering the greatest interest for the coming school year.
Other speakers included Kathy Pine and Dina Spears on “Web 2.0 Classroom Tools,” Sandy Swartz on “Going Google,” Wayne Hebert on HMH Skills and Carolyn Swift on whiteboard technology and personalized literacy environments.
Dr. John Fulwiler, Director of the Technology Leadership Program at Southeastern Louisiana University gave the welcoming address, along with Dean Sharon Hornsby of Northshore Community Technical College.
Thirteen vendors took advantage of the gathering of educators by showcasing their hardware and software offerings, everything from Promethean boards and digital learning packages to online library resources and educational consulting services.
Participants attended four separate hands-on breakout sessions in the various computer labs at the Technology Center.
Jenny Bauer with the Livingston Parish Public School System, a member of the NETT committee, said the event was fortunate to have Leslie Fisher, a nationally-known technology guru as guest speaker. “She is very entertaining and very much aware what is going on in educational technology right now,” she said.
Attendees receive CLU hours of continuing education credits at the event, getting a certificate at the end, as well as the opportunity to “network” with their fellow educators from other parishes. “It’s a lot of fun, too, because they get to learn and do together, and keep in touch during the summer,” Ms. Bauer noted.
Inkie Landry with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System said the conference was always well-received by educators wishing to keep up with the latest in technology, and the Treen Instructional Technology Center has been a regional resource for those events for years. Topics over the years have ranged from the impact of Social Media in the schools to cyber safety and cyber bullying.
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