ICSD Teachers use new technology for professional development

May 4, 2018 (Independence, IA) – On Tuesday morning, April 3rd, Independence teachers utilized the app Goosechase in teams of five to complete a scavenger hunt on the history of Independence and the school district’s connections with local businesses.

“The use of newer app-technology was meant to instill the mindset we want all teachers to have, that all people can innovate, adapt, and grow. Not only were teachers expected to use the app, but the more innovative solutions, such as short videos of their objective, earned more points,” said Keith Donnelly, Independence Physical Education teacher.

Many school districts offer professional development opportunities like this scavenger hunt. Teachers are able to connect with peers they may not see as often such as those in other departments or other buildings and work toward a common goal. Donnelley continued, “Our teachers, just like our students need to be comfortable with new technology and it is all part of Iowa’s focus on 21st century skills.”

After 11:30, the teachers went to lunch and then to a more traditional form of professional development in which they discussed ideas like applying apps, such as Goosechase, to classroom activities. Teachers are finding new opportunities in the use of interactive technology. “We can show our students archeological sites they can view in 360 degrees on a tablet, explore a reef ecosystem, or the Globe Theatre,” said Donnelley. Co-operative tasks have also become easier with advances in technology as objectives on apps like Goosechase can be updated in real-time so that every team member is on the same page.

Teachers can sometimes find themselves at odds with technology. Fighting against students using social media in the classroom seems common. However, according to the Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE), teachers in Portland, OR, found that utilizing social media in education helped to reduce absenteeism by 30%. The biggest benefit according to their report is that, “Social media capitalizes on student’s personal backgrounds and cultural experiences to further learning.” Improving student engagement has always been a challenge for educators but technology is helping to bridge the gap. Professional development opportunities like this will remain valuable to teachers in the modern world.

To learn more about the Goosechase app visit https://www.goosechase.com/. To keep up with Independence schools and our calendar visit https://www.indeek12.org/.


Media Contact

Fusion Forward