The Shelby County Technology Department recently hosted another successful MERGE conference, but this time it was all delivered via remote learning.
There were over 350 participants who logged into various sessions that were presented by 28 Shelby County employees and 14 vendors. The conference was held over the course of three days, with over 30 sessions offered each day. Presenters and teachers used Google Meet to connect face to face to learn, ask questions, and share interactive and innovative days of STEAM and Engagement learning
“The conference was designed to promote the integration of STEAM and Engagement into the classroom as teachers challenge students with the digital literacy and computer science standards embedded into their curriculum,” said Technology Coordinator Lauren Woolley
Sessions topics included videoing, engaging virtual learners, collaboration, coding, STEAM devices integrated with content standards, grant writing, virtual field trips, using Common Sense Media, Socratic Seminars, and many more.
Teachers could win technology prizes for their classrooms by attending sessions. Examples of some of the prices were STEAM devices, Hovercams, Chromebooks, flexible seating furniture, and subscriptions to engagement platforms like Socrative, Quizlet, and Gimkit.
Teachers took to social media to share about sessions they found to be interesting or helpful using the hashtag #ShelbyMerge2020
Dr. Lewis Brooks in welcoming online participants to the virtual conference said that MERGE was a fitting word to describe the process of bringing together thoughts, ideas, instructional strategies, and technology strategies to best serve Shelby County students.
“I am so thankful to our Technology Department for pulling this together during these difficult times and finding a way for us to share ideas about teaching and learning,” Brooks said. “This year will be unlike any other we have ever seen before, but one thing I take peace in knowing is that we have great people in Shelby County Schools that will do a magnificent job in serving out students.”
“I want to thank each and every one of you for being the heartbeat of our school system,” Brooks said to teachers participating in the conference. “There is nothing more important in our world right now than serving our kids. And I know that while things will look different, we will do the best job we can to provide our kids with the best education possible, as we have always done.”
Session recording and presentations are available on the Shelby County Schools website at https://sites.google.com/shelbyed.org/scsmerge2020/home