NASTECH Meeting Preview

Posted by Matthew Hejna on 1/8/2018

NASTECH hits the road this month albeit only a few miles due south on Merrick Avenue to Harold D. Fayette Elementary School where North Merrick UFSD will present an agenda focused on Redesigning Learning Spaces. We are excited to be joined by Dr. Andrew Taylor, Director of Technology and CIO of Byram Hills CSD who will deliver the topic keynote. As a school leader and entrepreneur, Dr. Taylor studies the relationship of technology, teaching, learning, data, and leadership, and was the lead designer on several educational software titles and service organizations. A former teacher and Adjunct Professor at Marist College, Dr. Taylor has been published in several educational technology magazines and is a frequent speaker at education conferences.

 Following the keynote, we will visit the school in Rotating Breakout Sessions listed below. 

  • Nureva Span: The three elementary schools in North Merrick have installed a Nureva Span visual collaboration system. Each school features a hallway of learning with an expansive, digital workspace that combines a panoramic projector with cloud-based software allowing students to work simultaneously on the wall and on devices such as laptops and desktop computers.
  • Re-Imagined Computer Lab: North Merrick has embarked on a multi-year effort to optimize learning spaces in order to provide environments that foster collaboration, communication, and engagement in critical thinking activities. H. D. Fayette School’s computer lab (which is being renamed by the students to better reflect its new mission), includes flexible, lightweight workstations, comfortable seating, and multi-purpose tables ideal for collaboration and small group presentations.
  • Flexible Classrooms: Third-grade classrooms in North Merrick were chosen to pilot the introduction of flexible and active furniture to better support students in their learning journeys. Based on the belief that children deserve the ability to choose what kind of learning environment works best for them, the district interspersed pedal desks, stand-up desks, and bouncers with standard furniture in every third-grade classroom.

If you are able to join us earlier for the Pre-Meeting Session at 12:00 you will be treated to an additional session with Andrew Taylor on Shifting from Engagement to Empowerment (SEAL: Student Empowered Active Learning). Stop Engaging and Start Empowering
Educators often use engagement synonymously with empowerment but that is not always the truth. Both are important but we suggest a shift in our classrooms toward empowerment and have created a framework (SEAL: Student Empowered Active Learning) to facilitate this shift. Participants will learn the difference between engagement and empowerment and strategies teachers can use in the classroom to empower their students with technology.

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