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Teaching Meets Tech at STEAM Conference
Teaching Meets Tech at STEAM Conference
Posted on 08/09/2019
A collage showing teachers using technology and listening to presentations at the BCS STEAM Conference.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

At yesterday's BCS STEAM Conference, teachers shared innovative tools and techniques that will make learning come alive in their classrooms!

The conference, at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Center for Allied Health and Workforce Development, featured an array of presentations and demonstrations meant to aide teachers in their modern, dynamic classrooms. Topics ranged from virtual reality to robotics to digital storytelling, coding, inclusivity and equity, and much more.

“We have teachers coming from all around the region to see what we are doing,” said BCS Digital Learning Facilitator Haley Stamey. “This conference gives teachers new information and new technologies during the summer when they have more time. They’ll come back with new ideas to make learning more fun and engaging for the kids.”

The conference presenters showed ways teachers can connect STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts to real-life applications. One group of teachers programmed robots (Sphero Minis and BOLTS) to move along specific paths, and those paths had to be programmed mathematically.

"We want kids to understand the language of robotics and programming," said BCS AIG Lead Facilitator Chris Cutshall, who spoke about robotics at the conference. "That unlocks creativity and critical thinking."

Another group learned how to film a news-style broadcast for their classes or interest clubs. North Buncombe High School Language Arts teacher Jenny Zimmerman showed how time constraints force students to think about the most important parts of a story and how the active voice strengthens narration.

The BCS Digital Learning Team organized the conference, now in its fifth year.

“It’s grown from a few teachers sharing their experiences with other teachers to more than 80 presenters with a huge range of subjects,” said Digital Learning Facilitator Pam Johnson. “This is top-of-the-line professional development, for free, that will enable teachers to meet the individual needs of their students.”

New technologies and methods will help teachers identify each student’s interests and tailor the curriculum so that they can engage the material in a meaningful way, she said.

“These technologies are powerful tools that will increase our teachers’ effectiveness and ability to prepare every student for their tomorrow,” she said.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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