(April 13, 2010)--This month, two dozen new math and science teachers received free Apple iPod Touches at a technology training workshop offered by the UTSA Generating Educational Excellence in Math and Science (GE2MS) program. Funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation, the workshop trained teachers to engage students by integrating technology in their classroom lessons.
"We live in times where most teens already have an iPod, MP3 player or smart phone, but their schools haven't fully embraced technology," said Joseph Lazor, director of the UTSA GE2MS program, which supports new teachers and undergraduates who want to become teachers. "Rather than having students check their technology at the door, we're showing teachers how they can integrate it into their daily lessons."
In addition to training the teachers in iPod basics, the three-hour seminar covered math and science applications ("apps") appropriate for the classroom. Sample apps include:
Science teacher Russell Willis at the Southwest ISD alternative school, Boot Camp, found the training session extremely helpful.
"I've been looking for ways to keep my students engaged, and a classroom set of iPod touches is much less expensive than a classroom set of computers," Willis said. "If I had a set of iPods, I could make my lessons more interactive and I would be able to better keep the students' attention."
Technology instructor Donald Hawkins with the Region 20 Education Service Center said teachers can no longer afford to ignore technology in the classroom.
"The teachers can't stop it, because the kids already have it," said Hawkins. "We're seeing a lot of teachers who think, 'The technology is there if I need it.'" Instead, they need to start looking at it as a necessity for their daily lessons."
The UTSA GE2MS program, formerly known as UTeach, is a collaborative initiative of the UTSA College of Sciences and the College of Education and Human Development in partnership with local school districts. The four-year program allows UTSA undergraduates to earn a science degree while becoming certified teachers. While in GE2MS, participants receive academic support, career advice and opportunities to observe local classrooms. The program also works with local school districts to offer supplementary training and incentives to new teachers.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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Downtown Campus Art Gallery, Durango Building Room 1.122, Downtown Campus
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Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
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Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
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