Illinois Tech Teachers Redefine Innovative Classroom

Technology is transforming education in the 21st century. It’s no longer just confined to the computer labs, but it’s everywhere in today’s elementary, middle and high schools. It has replaced text books, chalk boards, and in some cases, even the entire classroom. Today’s teachers are using social media, apps, iPods, smart phones and other tools not available just a few years ago to educate and engage students.

On a cold Saturday in January, hundreds of teachers from across the city and suburbs spent their day off sitting where their students would sit, on the other side of the classroom, for the 19th annual Northern Illinois Computing Educators mini-conference. They gathered at Niles North High School in Skokie to learn more about how to effectively use the new tools and skills. Besides learning from their peers about best practices, they even learned from their own students. Young people, who’ve grown up around the new technology, were among those offering teachers lessons on iPads and apps.

The three R’s of reading, writing and arithmetic are still an important part of the school curriculum. But technology is transforming the way students learn and the way teachers teach. ❒

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