Gary Elementary School in West Chicago is among approximately 60 schools statewide that will participate in the annual TECH 2013 Students for the Information Age event on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.
From 1:00-3:00 p.m., Amy Heavey, dual language teacher at Gary Elementary School, and three of her students will join teachers and students from across Illinois in showing the public and elected members of the Illinois State Senate and the House of Representatives how technology is being used in the classroom to improve student achievement. Computer workstations will be set up in the Capitol Building Rotunda so students may show how technology has helped them with their schoolwork.
The students taking part in the demonstrations with Mrs. Heavey are Gloria Gonzalez, 3rd, Dylan Borja, 4th and Audrey Miller, 6th. They will present on how Technology is integrated in order to support English Language Learners (ELL) and Spanish as a Second Language (SSL) learning in a dual language classroom. They will demonstrate and share classroom activities that use various technologies including: the use of SmartBoards, document cameras, computer labs and Microsoft Office skills. "This will be a wonderful time to show our legislators how we use technology and the reasons why we need more funding to add it to our classrooms," added Mrs. Heavey.
The purpose of TECH 2013 is to raise awareness of the critical role technology plays in preparing students to succeed in today's world, and to show the need for increased funding for classroom technology. Students will demonstrate for lawmakers and the public the creative ways technology is being used to enhance and accelerate student achievement in Illinois schools today. The importance of this event lies in making the public aware of the central role technology has come to play in our schools and generating support for its adequate funding.
Entering the job force without a strong foundation in information-age technology is not an option for today's high school and college graduates. Understanding computers and related tools is a requirement, even for entry-level jobs, and computer literacy is essential for further education and advancement in almost every academic sphere. From the elementary to the high school level, technology expands the walls of the traditional classroom, bringing in people and events from all over the globe. Technology captures and holds the attention of this generation of learners far better than textbooks alone. Computers allow for more individualized instruction as teachers, using technology, move from the traditional "sage on the stage" role to becoming "guides on the side," providing students the tools they need to become more active in managing their own learning.
TECH 2013 is a not-for-profit initiative presented by Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), and is supported by a broad range of education and business organizations. Corporate Platinum Plus partners are Comcast and CDW-G.
Without the understanding and support of the public and the legislature, adequate public funding for education technology is hard to come by and, without it, Illinois cannot remain competitive in the global economy. Gary Elementary School is pleased to support and be a part of Tech 2013: Students for the Information Age.