Bringing Technology to Houston-area Educators

Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) hosted its first Ed Tech Conference in October at the Jones Graduate School of Business. Led by Dr. Lawrence Kohn, director of program and evaluation at REEP, the conference brought more than 100 Houston-area educators, school leaders, and education technology practitioners together to learn how to choose the best technologies to increase student learning and engagement inside the classroom. The conference was facilitated by Education Elements, a developer of blended learning solutions.

The Education Elements team guided conference participants through interactive sessions on Introduction to Digital Content and Blended Learning in Action, while Rhonda Wade, assistant principal at Brazosport ISD, helped navigate, with laptops and tablets in hand, Google Apps for Leaders and Teachers. Four local Ed Tech practitioners, including Eric Schmidt (REEP MBA for School Leaders ’12), shared their successes implementing Ed Tech initiatives in their classrooms and schools. One of the presenters, Adrian Acosta, a science teacher at Young Men’s Preparatory Academy, shared a cross curriculum interactive iBook created by HISD students and how the tool reinforces the hybridization of math, science, English and art, strengthening student aptitude and comprehension.

The conference introduced participants to Ed Tech tools, processes, and initiatives to help them distinguish new technologies and select the best products for their school’s needs. Participants tested out new software and applications on their laptops and tablets to enable student learning in and out of the classroom. As the Ed Tech space continues to be integrated into schools, REEP wants to prepare leaders to understand the landscape and manage it successfully. “The days of buying laptops and handing them out to students are over. Leaders need to be strategic and discerning when reviewing, choosing and implementing technology in their schools,” said Dr. Kohn of REEP.

Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) is the nation’s foremost leadership development program for highly motivated educators committed to leading public schools. REEP prepares educators to lead schools as CEOs through its three innovative programs: REEP MBA for School Leaders, REEP Business Fellowship for School Leaders and the REEP Summer Institute. Education Elements is a leading developer of blended learning solutions based out of San Carlos, California.

For more information about REEP, visit reep.rice.edu.

By Jeanette Pasuizaca