How Loyola’s Ed Tech Program Demonstrates Cura Personalis
Central to the mission of Loyola University Maryland is development of the whole person, or, in Latin, cura personalis. The Educational Technology Program in the School of Education at Loyola exemplifies cura personalis through the extension of students’ experiences beyond the classroom by supporting their attendance at local and international conferences. In June 2022, three Educational Technology students attended the ISTELive 22 Conference.
ISTELive is a yearly conference hosted by The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). It is “one of the world’s most comprehensive edtech events, attended by a global contingent of education leaders, teachers, coaches, librarians/media specialists and more” (ISTE, n.d., About ISTE and ISTELive 23). In 2022, it was a hybrid conference with a face-to-face option in New Orleans, LA, USA and an online option. During the conference, 1,086 sessions were offered along with games, social media challenges, and a network of 16,581 people from 88 different countries (Fingal, 2022). The three EdTech students attended virtually and were able to engage with educators around the globe and attend innovative technology sessions.
Donna Gregg, a 2nd-grade teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools, attended ISTELive 22. Donna learned new-to-her technologies such as Book Creator, gained more ideas on how to use choiceboards in her classroom, and expanded her Professional Learning Network (PLN). “The session that impacted me the most was The Epic eBook of Web Tools and Apps Book Creator model. This session was awesome and I learned so much through it. It was very informative and made me excited to learn more about Book Creator. I even went to another session about book creator and learned more about how to implement it in the classroom.” Through Donna’s PLN, she has gained ideas from educators around the world and she was able to connect with Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning and learn about choice boards. “The sessions I attended at ISTE were encouraging and motivating and the biggest impact was the new skills and materials that I came away with to use in my classroom.”
Laura Frank, a 9th-12th-grade American Sign Language teacher in Maryland, attended ISTELive 22. Laura learned about designing digital escape rooms using Google applications (Google Workspace) and how to engage her students in puzzles and games. “My biggest ‘wow’ within the conference was all of the 'toolbag' templates, materials and resources provided to us throughout each of the various sessions. There was so much given to us to copy and utilize with our students and colleagues!” After the ISTELive 22 conference, Laura spent her summer thinking of ways she could engage her learners and bring fun into her classroom. “Within recent years, I have noticed that keeping student attention when competing with their personal phones, social media, and recreational digital games is becoming more and more difficult. The ISTE conference inspired me to think of how I can use educational technology to connect with students in a way that may reignite their passion and investment in our courses.”
Eric Hines, the Teacher Coordinator for the Mathematics Department at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County Public Schools, also attended ISTELive 22. Eric learned how to use digital choice boards to encourage student autonomy and better engage the students in the classroom. “The most impactful session of the ISTE 2022 conference was The Teacher’s Guide to Digital Choice Boards: Empower and Engage Students! This session provided me with so many resources and ideas to implement student choice within the classroom.” Digital choice boards are creative ways for students to complete a task or goal by guiding students to engage in their own personalized learning. Eric added portions of this new knowledge to his graduate program internship and mathematics classroom in which activities and tasks will be presented using a digital choice board. “The ISTE conference expanded my thinking and understanding of ways to get the most out of our students allowing them to use technology to support their academic and personal goals.”
At Loyola University Maryland, opportunities are provided to students to expand their learning in support of the whole person. Faculty member, Irene A. Bal, advocates for students to attend and present at local, national, and international conferences and works with Loyola stakeholders to financially support the students. “When our EdTech students attend conferences, they are able to network with other educators who are passionate about technology integration in the classroom. They are also able to see emerging innovative technologies and instructional strategies and bring that back to their classroom and schools. Any financial support we can give students is icing on the cake and helps them offset the costs that typically come out of their pockets. In the EdTech program, we don’t just talk the talk of cura personalis, we walk the walk through opportunities like ISTELive.” ISTELive 23 will be hybrid again this year and is in Philadelphia, PA.
Want to know more about the Loyola Educational Technology program? Find more information on the program on the program Web site and follow the Loyola Ed Tech program on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok - @LoyolaET
Donna Gregg is a graduate student in the Loyola Educational Technology program and a 2nd grade teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Donna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/mommawith5kids
Laura Frank is an alumni in the Loyola Educational Technology program and a 9th-12th grade American Sign Language teacher in Maryland. Laura’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsLCFrank
Eric Hines is graduate student in the Loyola Educational Technology program and the Teacher Coordinator for the mathematics department at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Eric’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrEricLHines
Published: October 17, 2022