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March 14, 2014

Tech Tuesdays

by Rohan Oprisko, Sports Editor
As of this school year, at least once a month, teachers gather in the back rooms of the media center for Tech Tuesdays, a program media center officials offer as a means by which Blair teachers can learn more about useful programs such as Turnitin.com , Prezi and new technologies such as Web 2.0.

Overall, the objective is to help teachers be more technologically savvy, "We are trying to help get [the teachers] more technologically advanced," media assistant Sherri Bailey said. Although a multitude of teachers use these programs, not all of them know all of their possible functions. "Some teachers want to know exactly what to expect," media specialist Andrea Lamphier said.

During Tech Tuesdays teachers learn how to use a variety of different programs. Connor Smith
During Tech Tuesdays teachers learn how to use a variety of different programs.
The recent focus on the Tech Tuesdays has been shifting from programs such as Prezi and Turnitin.com to more complex ones. "What we have been trying to focus on has been Web 2.0 technologies. The difference between this technology and Turnitin.com is students are creating and putting on the Internet," Lamphier said.

Another aspect of these events is to help teachers make the classroom livelier and not always use classic programs such as PowerPoint. "We are showing them new technologies to use in the classroom," Bailey said. These new technologies include Prezis, which can provide a more exciting substitute from the commonly used PowerPoints. "We are trying to find something engaging and fun for students," Lamphier said.

Because Tech Tuesdays is a voluntary program, the idea is that teachers who have time to invest can come in and learn new programs and share them with their coworkers. "Everyone who comes to Tech Tuesdays learns one thing and might share it with four other people," Lamphier said. The program itself is conducted in a way that allow teachers to learn how to use the programs collaboratively.

So far this year, the turnout has not satisfied Lamphier. "I wish there were more [teachers] but there haven't been," she said. Even with the amount at a low level, Lamphier understands why teachers might not come to the workshops. "I think teachers are very pressed for time," she said.

For the future of Tech Tuesdays, the road is still clear. "I think we will keep it going and see how it goes," Lamphier said. The next Tech Tuesday will be held on March 25.



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