C-TEC conference offers dozens of unique workshops
PHILIPSBURG:--- The first Technology and Education Conference (C-TEC) will take place on November 12 and 13 at Milton Peters College. This conference is open to all Sint Maarten teachers and will welcome many school managers and policy makers from our island and the Caribbean region. The goal of the two-day conference is to bring together all educators from primary and secondary schools to exchange ideas and experience on the use of technology in the classroom. In a unique move, the Ministry of Education has granted all Sint Maarten teachers one day off to facilitate their participation in the C-TEC conference.
The C-TEC conference, organized by the Foresee (4C) Foundation and its C-TEC organizing committee, with the aid of Unesco, the government of Sint Maarten and other partners, will offer a wide and unprecedented array of workshops for the participants to attend. The first day is geared specifically towards primary school educators, while the Friday will cater for teachers in secondary education. A total of nearly one hundred different sessions will take place over the course of two days. At any given time, a participant can chose from six to twelve different workshops and activities. Registration is open now on www.ctec-conference.com.
Presenters will cover specific software tools for use in the classroom, like Prezi to make spectacular presentations, Animoto to put together video and other visual work, or a comic strip creator for language students to make their own graphic novels in class. Other workshops will present tools to make class management and teacher-student-parent communication easier like ClassDojo or Edmodo. All presentations are given by educators and other experts who have first hand experience with these digital tools.
It is not just adding computers and software to an existing curriculum however. Twenty-first century learning is about entirely new ways of transferring knowledge and developing skills and comprehension. Therefore, some sessions will deal with the use of ‘Digital Portfolios’ as an additional means of following a student’s attainment and the establishment of ‘makerspaces’ to draw out the creative and constructive side of our students. Interactive websites like Kahoot or Flip Quiz enhance the learning experience as well. Finally of course, the selective and positive use of social media will be a key topic as well.
A parallel program for school boards, managers and policy makers will engage the strategic question of how to implement these twenty-first century tools into our educational system, and of course how to afford them. The buzzword here is Open Educational Resources or OER’s. A wealth of educational tools and systems are available on line and in cooperation with international partners and organizations. Experiences of different Sint Maarten schools and school boards will be mixed and compared with input from other islands in the Caribbean. In this segment of course DigiKidz, our flagship schools when it comes to twentyfirst century learning, will play a key role.
Most workshops will be facilitated by Sint Maarten teachers from our primary and secondary schools, who will present their own experiences and outline the advantages and pitfalls of using modern technology in class. In addition, a number of overseas presenters will join the conference from Anguilla, Antigua, Jamaica, St. Kitts, the US Virgin Islands, the US, Curaçao and the Netherlands.