Local teachers participate in SGTC STEM training
By Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
CORDELE– On June 12th, Cordele, Georgia’s South Georgia Technical College hosted Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education’s ‘Ignite My Future in School’ initiative. The event happened with help from Georgia Public Broadcasting who provided their marketing efforts in publicizing the event. Invited were teachers from the following districts: Marietta City Schools, Berrien, Madison County, Wilcox, Thomas County Chattahoochee-Flint Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) and Sumter County.
Educators learned the program’s benefits and how to incorporate computational thinking into their curriculums through an immersive Day of Discovery (see agenda). TCS Ignite My Future in School Program Manager, Serene Gallegos, opened the event by acknowledging what drives TCS’ commitment – the chance to provide young minds with relevant skills for future careers that don’t exist today. Dacia “Dr. Drizzle” Jones, Discovery Education Professional Development Expert gave the keynote for the day. Setting the framework of how applicable computational thing is to everyday problem solving and organizing. Teachers viewed a congratulatory message
Sanford Bishop before they began their breakout sessions. He stated:
“I’m honored to have this chance to commend teachers from our region of Georgia for their efforts to find new and innovative ways to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s jobs. Technology will continue to play an increasingly significant role in our economy and daily lives and we must equip our students with the skills they need for 21st century jobs. Today’s Ignite My Future Day of Discovery will provide a customized professional development experience in computational thinking that gives teachers the opportunity to explore, test, learn and engage in small subject area groups. A strong well prepared workforce will power our economy and spur innovation in critical sectors. This initiative that focuses on computational thinking and problem solving is a step in the right direction. We owe it to our students to help them stay ahead of the curve and prepare them as early as possible for their future careers. I believe that by providing our teachers with additional tools and resources to educate and empower our students we are setting them up for success. I am excited that teachers from Chattahoochee-Flint Regional Education Service agency RESA and Sumter County are taking advantage of this exciting initiative. I’d like to thank Tata Consultancy Services, Discovery Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting for their contributions in making this possible. I look forward to seeing the progress of this program as they help students discover new and creative ways in learning and thinking this upcoming school year. Thank you!”
This day allowed teachers not only to absorb the program’s philosophies, but gain professional development. During several breakout sessions, teachers worked in groups and practiced problem-solving with challenges specifically crafted for the day. Teachers took part in exercises like Caught in the Code a special breakout challenge used during the D.O.D that introduces and familiarizes teachers with the 7 principles of computational thinking, providing insight into how CT can be used in the classroom.
The activities created valuable role-playing opportunities where teachers became students. The Professional Development (PD) experts from Discovery Education provide guidance just like a teacher would but they’re relatively hands off. At DOD, you get to witness teachers, like students, collaborating taking on different roles and responsibilities, practicing trial and error then revising solutions.
Also, through the TCS and Discovery Education online platform, TECHademy, teachers can continue to engage colleagues nationwide in an exclusive, cost-free, on-going virtual professional development experience that includes curriculum resources, eLearning courses and webinars.
Many left with vital takeaways and were reminded a few teaching fundamentals, like the importance of maintaining student engagement through a new and challenging lesson. The day culminated with a period for teach to reflect on what they learned and talk with DE leaders about best practices for incorporating the lesson plans into their curriculum.