CLEWISTON — Silicon Valley technology came to the teachers and classrooms of Hendry County as part of a demonstration at Eastside Elementary School (EES) in Clewiston on May 7.
Teachers across the country in cities and in rural areas alike are exploring technology to make their students 21st-century learners, according to a 6-year-old educational tech company called Nearpod, based in Aventura. To facilitate their digital transformation, teachers are turning to Nearpod’s digital, interactive lesson plan platform that supercharges instruction with Virtual Reality (VR) field trips, pop quizzes, classroom polls, 3D images and more.
Leading this trend in Hendry County is Eastside Elementary School. Last week’s demonstration offered teachers in Hendry and across Florida a chance to observe fellow teachers in action as they ignited a global perspective and engaged students in learning through technology, innovative instructional practices and research-based instructional models, according to a news release from the company.
On Monday, while teachers from Eastside took their students on VR adventures through digital science labs and other places to invigorate learning, increase engagement and bolster understanding, educators from across the county and beyond were joining in. Hoping to follow in Eastside’s footsteps, dozens of teachers were taking notes to bring these engaging practices back to their schools.
“Quality education starts with great teachers, who are passionate and committed to collaborating and honing their skills,” said Maurice Heiblum, chief operating officer and president of Nearpod. “We’re excited to provide classroom teachers, like those at Eastside Elementary and throughout Hendry County, engaging, interactive 21st-century content for use with their students, as well as for their own professional development.”
Other schools’ teachers were afforded the chance to observe colleagues at EES in a variety of grade levels and subject areas using Nearpod, and then were invited to ask questions and brainstorm with fellow educators across the state.
“It was a great experience to get to collaborate with other educators outside of my county and showcase all the interactive features of Nearpod,” said Taylor Massey, a fourth-grade teacher at Eastside Elementary.