Hodag Tech Fest
While students were enjoying their summer vacations during the past week, teachers in the School District of Rhinelander had the opportunity to participate in the first annual Hodag Tech Fest. The four-day event, which was held Aug. 4-7, offered professional development for school district staff members.
Each of the four days was focused on a School District of Rhinelander initiative. The topic for Monday, Aug. 4, was Teacher Effectiveness & Leadership. Tuesday’s focus was Collaboration & Communication. On Wednesday, the topic was Personalized and Blended Learning, and Thursday’s subject was Literacy. Each day, several presentations were given that tied in to that day’s main topic. For example, one of the presentations on Wednesday looked at the ways in which YouTube can be used by educators. Among the other presentations were Navigating the Video Jungle and The Paperless Classroom.
“All of our sessions are showing how technology can be incorporated into those district initiatives,” said Heidi Catlin, event organizer.
Sara Stieve, who is new to the School District of Rhinelander, said she thought she knew a lot about technology in the classroom, but has learned much at Tech Fest.
“Every 10 minutes, I have something I’m super excited about,” she said. “I think Tech Fest relates so much to what we’re doing.”
Third-year teacher Katie Andrastek, who teaches kindergarten, also praised the event.
“I learned a lot about how to use videos better, especially YouTube,” she said.
Tech Fest also helped build leadership skills. The event was designed by teachers, for teachers. About 100 people participated in Tech Fest, Catlin said, noting that presenters at the event were all local educators.
“It’s been so much fun for me,” she said, “to watch our teachers learn from each other.”