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Westonka Well-Represented at TIES Conference
Westonka Tech Interns with instructor Sue Simonson, from left: David Godoy-Henderson, Walker Laughon and Jack Dahm
January 10, 2019 — The Westonka School District sent nine teachers and staff members to the 2018 Technology and Information Educational Services (TIES) Educational Technology Conference, which was held Dec. 8 and 9 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Teachers representing Mound Westonka High School and both primary schools, as well as members of the district technology team, attended multiple sessions on technology and learning, collaborated with other educators and engaged with national educational leaders.
"Overall, it was a great opportunity for staff members throughout the district to network, share ideas, and learn from peers to help keep our classrooms leading with technology," said Jared Chapman, district operations specialist.
Three Westonka educators were presenters at the TIES conference. Sue Simonson and the Westonka Tech Interns presented a session titled "Students Leading Chromebook Repair." Schools in 1:1 mobile device programs find themselves having to manage and maintain resources, but the greatest resource, the student, is often overlooked. MWHS is empowering students to be leaders, follow their passions and find connections through the Westonka Technology Interns (WTI) course. WTI students repair the 1,800 Chromebooks in the district’s 1:1 initiative.
"The students really enjoyed presenting about our Chromebook repair class," said Simonson. "They do a fantastic job of showing other adults that creating this type of class is a win-win for the students and their school district."
Following their two-hour presentation, MWHS senior Walker Laughon and juniors Jack Dahm and David Godoy-Henderson did repairs in the booth of the MWHS program’s parts vendor, ChromebookParts.com.
Shirley Hills Primary School teachers Bobbie Jo Tronsgard and Jenny Naslund (pictured right) presented "Guided Personalization in a Team Taught Classroom." Personalizing instruction has transformed their fourth-grade classroom and propelled student learning. As a team of two teachers, the pair has reinvented their classroom, adapted curriculum and engaged students to take ownership of their learning.
Participants at their presentation left with a clear vision of how to set up a classroom that allows students to move through curriculum at their own pace, yet holds each student accountable. The benefits of team teaching, classroom setup, tracking student learning and student outcomes were also discussed.
"Every year I leave TIES with new ideas and tools to try in our classroom and share with my colleagues," said Naslund.