ST. MARYS — Several weeks after they attended the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, several St. Marys Area School District faculty members discussed Monday night the growing role that electronics continue to play in the classroom. They reported that computer software, simple machines and even social media could be positively used to supplement their lesson plans during a regular school board meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Jim Wortman said conference attendance keeps faculty current with developments in educational technology which, by itself, does not guarantee stronger student performance.
“Technology can be the accelerant, but it’s not going to be the lead dog,” he said.
One tool that several teachers spoke of positively was the HyperDoc, a customizable, digital lesson plan students can access and notate during and after class. The program is already being used in some St. Marys classrooms.
Videos and readings can be linked to a HyperDoc page, as can quizzes from which teachers can pull score data.
Faculty members also discussed the importance of teaching good “netiquette” in an age of preponderant social media. Bennets Valley Elementary School Teacher Kyle Anstrom shared details of a conference workshop he took on digital footprints with members of the board.
“It’s important for (students) to realize that what they do online is permanent,” Anstrom said.