News & Events

UMPI Education students to lead CACE workshop

University of Maine at Presque Isle Education students get the opportunity to share their technology expertise with area teachers when they help to facilitate the “Educational Technology to Support Teaching & Learning” workshop in conjunction with the Central Aroostook Council on Education (CACE) this month.

The Feb. 10 workshop, open to educators across central Aroostook County, will focus on a wide variety of tech-forward tools that teachers can use in the classroom—from Mac and PC programs to web-based platforms to digital apps.

“We’re very proud of our students and the fact that they’re able to help educate area teachers about technology opportunities for their classrooms before they even step into the career field,” Alana Margeson, UMPI Instructional Designer and workshop co-facilitator, said.

Margeson and UMPI faculty member Leigh Belair have worked with four UMPI students—Chelsey Briggs, Lauren Chapman, Lacey McQuarrie, and Katherine McKenna—to plan and carry out the workshop. In keeping with the University’s personalized learning approach, workshop participants will have a voice and choice in choosing 3 of 5 workshop sessions offered during the event.

Sessions include: Digital Tools for Communication, Creating & Using Visuals for the Classroom, Interactive Video & Image Tools, Tools for Digital Lessons, and Using Google Hangout for Communication and Collaboration. Tech tools to be explored range from Class Dojo and Canva to S’more, Edpuzzle and ThingLink. The day ends with a 45-minute session that allows table partners to share what they’ve learned during the day and explore one tool more in-depth.

“The sessions being offered model the technology we’re showcasing,” Margeson said. “For example, Lauren and Chelsey aren’t just talking about tech tools in their session, they’re using Google Classroom as part of their presentation so teachers can experience how the technology works in a learning environment.”

“We want to show educators that it’s not just one specific platform they should use, but that there’s a wide variety of tools out there that they can take advantage of,” Belair added.

This is the first time that UMPI students are playing such a primary role in a CACE workshop. Margeson and Belair brought the idea to CACE Executive Director Terry Wood after co-teaching the class EDU 261: Educational Technology in the Classroom in Fall 2016. As part of that course, Margeson and Belair had their 10 students develop digital portfolios, constructed as Weebly sites, and present them to a panel of “authentic audience members”—area school administrators.

“Administrators were blown away by their work,” Margeson said. “In fact, one of the administrators asked if our students could present this material to teachers in her school so they could be introduced to these technologies and have these tools to apply in the classroom.”

Based on that response and the general excitement that built around it, the idea for this special CACE workshop was born.

For students, the workshop is a unique opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned and flip their role from students to teachers: “This is an extension of what we’ve learned in class, and it’s relevant and timely stuff,” Chelsey Briggs said. “For us to be able to put that out there for area teachers is really exciting.”

To learn more about UMPI’s Education Program and the work it is doing with students, please contact Barbara Blackstone at 768-9415 or barbara.blackstone@maine.edu.