(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.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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