GIRARD — At the Greenbush Educational Technology Conference educators viewed 3D printers, software and other programs which would help them better teach their students.

Tuesday’s conference is geared toward teachers, technology specialists, integration specialists, technology directors and administration.

Greenbush Director of Educational Technology Amy Hunt said the conference gives teachers a day of learning about the latest, greatest technology and new devices.

“It is such a neat event and we really encourage teachers to come out and get their feet wet with technology and see what they don’t know,” she said.

There were many workshops during the conference: I never knew I could do that with my dry erase board!, WebVR Platforms for Creating VR & AR Reality Scenes, 3D Printing in the classroom, Escape Room and more.

Fort Scott High School Librarian Tracy Homan came to the conference to bring back information for her teachers — for example the MackinVIA workshop which deals with eBooks and other teacher resources, she said.

“I’m here to learn more information to help my school,” she said. “The new programs I learn I will share with the teachers.”

Frank Layden Elementary Third Grade Teacher Karen Osborn said she came to the conference because her school is kindergarten through eighth grade one to one school — which includes the use of Ipads in the classroom and MacBooks in the high school.

“We wanted to learn more about integrating technology we have in the classroom,” she said.

The event kicked off with keynote speaker Frank Layden Elementary Fifth Grade Teacher Tim Vesco.

He was given the theme “Beyond the Device” to present to the educators. He said he focused on the “beyond” because each student and teacher has someone which went above and beyond for them, whether in the classroom or at home.

Vesco talked about his sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Pauline Meyer. Upon taking her class, he was then certain he would become a teacher when he grew up, he said.

“I wanted to be like Mrs. Meyer,” Vesco said.
He said Meyer would show her concern and compassion towards her students — even with tears when she was worried some of her students wouldn’t succeed.

Vesco said it wasn’t the assignments from Meyer’s class which he remembers, it was the way she went above and beyond for her students.
“You are that person for somebody,” Vesco said to the crowd of educators.

Vesco pointed to the high school students who were from the Blue Valley Center For Advanced Professional Studies program.

“They are going to be someone’s Mrs. Meyer too — that’s pretty amazing,” Vesco said.

The Blue Valley CAPS students presented a slideshow called “Breaking Bad Habits,” about what students wish they had learned in school, which include communication, digital literacy and more at conference.

The students presented one by one about each of their topics and provided links to programs which could help teachers teach those concepts — including GroupMe, Canvas, Google Calendar and more.

“We will show them some websites and other applications the teachers may have never seen before,” Blue Valley Northwest student Andrew Lind said.

At the end of his speech he shared a photograph of his classroom. He said to acknowledge the miracles happening in their classrooms — such as students making friends for the first time, not shutting down in class, a shy student giving hugs and pushing gifted students to their full potential.

“Take a step back and look at all of the miracles that are in front of you today,” he said.

Vesco said when teachers participate in conferences like this, they can keep growing, which in return helps the students grow.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.