BY KELSEY WHEATON
The future is coming to the University of Mary Washington. On Friday, March 14, the Digital Age.”University will host the fourth annual EdTech conference. This year’s theme is “Changing the Face of Learning in the
This will be the fourth year UMW hosts the conference, which in past years drew in pre-service and in-service teachers, professors and administrators from across Virginia, as well as from Maryla
The conference started four years ago with the goal of reaching out to the community of educators to create a commonwealth of knowledge and strategies that they could share amongst themselves. Additionally, the conference was meant as a way for the surrounding school districts and counties to share their specific needs with a community of teachers.nd and Pennsylvania.
This year’s event features many panels, such as “Professional Learning,” “Digital Age Teaching and Learning” and “Open Educational Resources.”
At the conference students demonstrate the various projects they have worked throughout the year that incorporate digital elements. There will also be a demonstration of the new “Google Glasses” by Margaret Stout, who teaches a class of autistic students in kindergarten through third grade. Stout will dicuss how the wearable technology can be applied in a classroom setting.
Jim Groom, director of the department of teaching and learning technologies, will be the event’s keynote speaker.
The EdTech conference is not simply about sharing technology, however. It is also about sharing ideas and strategies between teachers. The conference serves as an opportunity for teachers, students and administrators to create a network of support amongst each other, promoting friendship instead of competition.
According to Teresa Coffman, is one of the lead organizers for the conference, “It’s not fully about technology, really, it’s about good teaching. We’re celebrating good teaching.”
Coffman also said she hopes that those who participate in the conference will “find it meaningful.”
“I plan it and run it because I hope it will be meaningful,” said Coffman
Teachers are not the only ones who are getting excited about this conference. This conference can be a source of excitement for UMW students as well.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Katie Busch, senior English major and pre-service teacher. “Lots of educators don’t maximize use of technology. I’ve found that a lot of teachers are afraid of using new technology because they don’t know about it. So a conference that would teach them how to use it is a great idea.”
The conference will be held Friday, March 14, at the Stafford Campus North Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. General registration is $50 and is open through March 10. Students can register for the conference for $20 with an active student ID.
“Students can come,” said Coffman. “I think it would be good for our university body to come and participate and learn from the conference.”