4 Takeaways from Teq’s Virtual Summits

Nina Sclafani
Senior Event Coordinator
News on September 18 2020

teq-summit-review

This summer, Teq held a series of virtual learning summits that were dedicated to helping educators prepare for this unpredictable school year. We assembled a team of industry experts, education leaders, and even a New York State Senator to discuss strategies for safe school re-openings and remote/hybrid learning solutions.

Although nothing beats experiencing each of the sessions yourself (Session 1 available here, and Session II available here), this list of takeaways is a great way to narrow down what we learned.

Here are our 4 key takeaways from the Teq Virtual Summits.

Key Takeaway #1:
A variety of edtech solutions are available

Whether you’re an edtech expert or a novice, there are solutions to help you thrive in this new teaching environment.

For the teacher that feels tepid about the hybrid-teaching model, Google for Education delivers an effective classroom management, assessment, and lesson-delivery tool that is neatly packaged in a user-friendly platform. In Effective Organization of Google Drive and Google Classroom, Teq PD Specialist, Nicole Mathew, delivers a presentation that is perfect if you’re new to Google Classroom, while also delivering tips and tricks that even more experienced Google users may not know about.

Another popular solution with an easy entry point is Microsoft Teams. Not only can it be used to get face time with your students, but you can also post assignments, encourage student conversations, and organize lesson materials for students by creating “channels.” For more, check out Using Microsoft Teams for Remote Learning, where we discuss the basic features (like the video chat) to more advanced functionalities like how to create collaborative spaces for students within the platform.

Key Takeaway #2:
Seek out multi-functional solutions

In a time of uncertainty, you want your edtech to function like a swiss army knife — one tool that serves many functions. In addition, if you had to go fully remote overnight, would you be able to do so successfully with the current solutions you are using? Would the transition be seamless for both the teacher and the student?

With the SMART Learning Suite you can transition from the classroom to home with ease. No matter where you are, the suite allows educators to create interactive lessons, and switch between teacher-led and student-led instruction with the click of a button. Students can engage with lessons by logging into HelloSMART.com, and from there are able to participate in educational games, group work, and more. To learn how to maximize this multi-functional tool, watch Student Engagement: Are they Really Learning? and Active Learning Strategies to Address Learning Loss.

Key Takeaway #3:
STEM companies are adapting

When the world went remote, teachers who love engaging students with STEM solutions were left wondering how they could still use their favorite tools. Fortunately, STEM companies heard those concerns and delivered platforms that improved the remote experience for their products.

One such company is Wonder Workshop. In the session STEM Solutions for the New Normal, we learn how you can bring the excitement of coding Dash and Dot robots into a virtual landscape with Class Connect. The kid-friendly programming app gives teachers the tools to assess student learning in real-time, while students code their favorite robots safely from their own homes.

Remote VR and AR solutions have also been made available for at-home learning, thanks to Veative. In STEM and CTE Integration Strategies for Distance Learning or the Hybrid Classroom Model, we discuss how Veative’s Virtual Labs and Experiences for Distance Learning feature can provide students with unique real-world experiences, all while encouraging self-discovery within the virtual activities.

For more solutions like this, take a look at the STEM product-focused sessions by Sphero, Kai’s Clan, UBTech, and pi-top.

Key Takeaway #4:
PD is essential

Adapting to new processes, tools, and solutions is difficult — especially when you have a class full of eager students relying on you. For that reason, teachers need strong support systems more than ever.

In Supporting Teachers during Distance Learning with PD, Stephen Grieshober, Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Appoquinimink School District, discusses how his district used OTIS for educators (Teq’s online professional development platform) to ensure his educators had instructional resources and support when they needed it most.

Using OTIS for educators, his teachers were able to dive into popular topics such remote learning, social emotional learning, PBL, Google, Microsoft, and more. Using the videos and assistance they received via the platform, the teachers of Appoquinimink were able to adapt and thrive despite the sudden change of setting this past March.

For more like this

Our team is dedicated to helping teachers no matter how or where they are teaching. For more information to help you thrive this school year, take a look at the following resources:

If you have a question about any of the information above, reach out to our team at OTIS@teq.com.