Record 90 Participants Attend Cyber Camp 2011

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

GALESBURG—Carl Sandburg College hosted the tenth annual Cyber Camp 2011 for K-12 teachers Thursday and Friday, June 16-17, at the Main Campus in Galesburg. The camp was an opportunity for area teachers to gain hands-on training using technology that will enhance classroom instruction and learning. ?

Mark Jeffrey, an instructor at Silas Willard Elementary School, is a first time attendee to Cyber Camp and felt positive about the experience. “It’s really nice – you can tell they really want to help you improve on your technological skills so you can then turn and share those with the kids,” said Jeffrey. He is already planning to return for Cyber Camp 2012.

Registered participants came from the following school districts: Astoria CUSD #1, Avon CUSD #176, Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD #170, Costa Catholic School (Galesburg), Galesburg Christian School, Galesburg CUSD #205, Henry-Stark County Special Education District #80, Illini West CUSD #307, Immaculate Conception (Monmouth), Knoxville CUSD #202, Monmouth-Roseville CUSD #238, Peru CUSD #124, ROWVA CUSD #208, Southeastern CUSD #337, Spoon River Valley CUSD #4, United CUSD #304, West Central CUSD #235, and Williamsfield CUSD #210.

“These Cyber Camps help us to continue strengthening our relationship with our K-12 partner school districts,” said Samuel Sudhakar, vice president of administrative services and CIO at CSC.

Nikki Chase is a substitute teacher in the Galesburg CUSD #205. As of Thursday she took “Virtual Field Trips” and “Digital Storytelling,” both classes taught by Leanne Hinton. “I learned a lot in both of them,” said Chase. “I got to make a digital story book so that was very beneficial. Leanne also gave us a lot of tools and resources to be able to make one on our own. These are things I can use in the classroom or in my personal life.”

Jean Tulin taught four sessions on the use of SMART Board technology in the classroom. “The participants want to be here – most of them have specific questions, and some want to know everything, but there are many who still have those ‘aha’ moments,” said Tulin. She recalls her early years of teaching, using a flip chart in the front of the classroom. “I used to have to flip back through pages to get to a topic from three weeks prior. Now all I have to do is go to the gallery and retrieve the content.”

Tulin shared that 99 percent of her participants either have or are soon getting a SMART Board. What she teaches goes beyond the technology. “I’m teaching teachers how to get the classroom to flow along, resulting in fewer discipline problems, keeping the students engaged and not allowing time to get off task,” said Tulin. “Today’s generation is a visual and audio generation, and they need more engagement than teachers just standing up there and reading notes.”

Wendy Huston of Monmouth-Roseville CUSD #208 took “Teaching in the Cloud (On a Shoestring Budget), and “Digital Photography for the Classroom.” “I love it – I’ve learned so much in the last day and a half,” said Huston. “I can’t wait to go home and start playing and incorporating it into my classrooms.”

Roger Hampton is a repeat camp instructor, missing only one year from the past decade. As technology has grown and evolved, Hampton shares that there is a continuing interest in finding tools that will help engage students and energize classrooms. “I’ve noticed an overall awareness that we as instructors have to utilize every possible technique and create an arsenal of ideas for engaging students,” said Hampton.

Dave Freeman of Spoon River Valley CUSD #4 gave positive reviews for his classes. “The experience has been great so far – getting introduced to computers and all the technology has been excellent. I came last year, liked it, so I’m here giving it another try.” He took “Digital Storytelling” and “Virtual Field Trips,” and with a smile, says “they were both excellent.”

Sara Mendez, an instructor at both Monmouth-Roseville Junior High and Central Intermediate School, was the winner of the iPad 2 drawing during Friday’s lunch. The prize was provided by the Carl Sandburg College Foundation.