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Day 2 Reflections from the Tiger Teachers - Bessie and Vickie

posted Jul 31, 2019, 9:07 AM by Jen Legatt


Vickie = I went to  Deloitte and Touche.  It was an informative tour and visit with staff there. I liked the real life applications. ALso, talking  about what classes students should take in high school was helpful!

Bessie = I went to Allianz Life.  It was a great experience.  We began with lunch and a presentation about the background of the company.  Then a recruiter talked to us about what this company is looking for from potential hirees...super interesting and informative.  Then we had individual tours of the facility and my business partner walked me through what her job entails.  We also got to meet with members of other departments.  It was an eye opening experience for me...really glad I got to have this opportunity.

Excellent panel discussion this morning!

posted Jul 30, 2019, 9:17 AM by Nancy Bynum

What a great group!  I enjoyed learning about the soft skills students need.  I was amazed that storytelling (to have a mindset of "always be closing"; and that every conversation is a negotiation) was mentioned as one of the most important skills.  Thank you for these helpful insights!

Day 1 Reflections from the Tiger Teachers - Bessie and Vickie

posted Jul 30, 2019, 6:29 AM by Vickie Radloff

Vickie says - the first day keynote was great and I enjoyed meeting my business partner for lunch

Bessie says - I agree the first day keynote was awesome and I also enjoyed making a connection with my business partner.  I thought the work in our candy groups was helpful and I am looking forward to today's breakouts and job shadow.

Attendees' stories

posted Jul 2, 2019, 7:20 AM by Bonnie Vagasky

In the last eleven months I have been able to talk with past attendees of the Technology Integration Workshop and to hear how their story of being a great educator continues to unfold. The impact the TIW has had on them has created lasting meaning and still drives them to excellence in their classroom and to create enriching learning experiences for their students.

Karla Hultgren was a two-time attendee; after attending she created a new class that provided a way for students to develop their career interests and learn skills outside of the school walls. St. Cloud Christian's internship class has given students a look inside business and non-profits allowing students to learn employability skills that they'll carry with them after graduation. You can read Karla's story on our web page

Ruth Durand, Special Education Teacher in Rockford Schools, advanced her skills and left with a new level of confidence. The chance for her to explore new educational technologies and learn at her own pace were the perfect combination. Ruth developed a new unit plan while on site; the unit plan has increased students' engagement and has them interacting more deeply with the lessons. The job shadow experience was equally engaging for Ruth; when she returned to her school she took information she gained and shared it with the district's tech team. Ruth's story is online

We look forward to hearing from more attendees about the impact of this experience.

Chance to experiment

posted Aug 2, 2018, 5:54 AM by RAYMOND OSTFELD

I really appreciated the opportunity to play with new technology and ideas at the Best Prep Technology Conference. This was a great opportunity to work and explore free of the pressures associated with daily teaching and lesson planning. I know I will be leaving the conference with several ideas I will incorporate into my lessons when school begins next month. Thank you Best Prep for the wonderful speakers and engaging breakout sessions.

M&M Team Rules....Wonderful Conference of Course!

posted Aug 1, 2018, 5:58 PM by Penny Troe

This has been an educational experience and filled to the ceiling with fun type of conference and it is not even close to over yet.  Love everything I am learning and how I keep finding new ways to challenge myself.  I love the Breakout EDU along with Google Sites and Donors Choose and all the funny videos and amazing Job Shadows.  Thank you so much BestPrep!!!  ~Penny T

Encourage innovation?

posted Aug 1, 2018, 7:53 AM by Brenda Diekman

Tyler Olson got me thinking about how much I dictate what the students create in my classroom. What do you do with your lessons to open up the opportunities to be innovative but still complete grading?

It’s our 15 year anniversary

posted Jul 26, 2018, 11:38 AM by Technology Integration Workshop

Back in the early 2000s BestPrep expanded its programming to create the Technology Integration Workshop. Today, the TIW is a solid program in BestPrep’s lineup having served more than 700 teachers and 125,000 students.


Looking back on the program’s 15 history, we see many changes to the program, but the basic premise remains the same. Educators gain pedagogy skills that develop their technology integration and workplace acumen. The sessions and job shadow continue to be highlights. These hands-on experiences allow educators to create amazing unit plans that are ready for use in the fall.


Professional development that provides real authentic learning and time to apply the new skills is what we built back then and still offer today.

Leah's Thoughts

posted Aug 2, 2017, 11:15 AM by Leah Stern

I have enjoyed learning about the different ways to use technology in the classroom and to help get our students ready for the future.  Now my questions to self are, "What apps will serve my students the best?  How will my students learn to use the apps?  Which apps will be most motivating for my students and their learning? 
I love the concept of let them learn and explore and teach others.  Some of my second graders last year loved figuring something out and then showing everyone else.

Validation for Teaching 21st Century Skills

posted Aug 2, 2017, 11:10 AM by Jodi M. Johnson

In the last few years, teaching 21st Century Skills has become a primary focus in education. Also known as the four Cs, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are becoming more and more integrated into our daily teaching routines. Activities like BreakoutEDU, Hour of Code, Mystery Skype and MakerSpace have grown in popularity as our profession searches for innovative ways to incorporate the 21st Century Skills into the classroom.

In attending the Best Prep Technology Integration Workshop this week I was able to hear and see first hand how valuable these skills are to business leaders. Our day started with a panel discussion with business leaders from four large cooperations. Through this discussion we learned what employers are looking for, what young people bring to the workforce, and what skills we should focus on to best prepare our learners for success in the real world.

Employers are looking for employees who can participate in face to face communications, able to handle personal conflicts effectively and respectfully, accept and grow from all feedback, able to share the how of what they learned and accomplished not just the what, and the ability to collaborate with teams. The panel shared they find students today come to them with a willingness to be challenged, ability to flexible and agile when it's time to move on or make a change, able to quickly adapt to new platforms for communication, and a willingness to change paradigms.

Aside from today's panel discussion, all participants in the Technology Integration Workshop participated in a job shadow experience. I was able to spend the afternoon shadowing the Director of Technology at Anchor Bank. Through team meetings and a tour of the office areas, I was able to see collaboration among team members that involved critical thinking and purposeful and respectful communication. The variety in their workspaces showed how collaboration and creativity is valued when working on projects. The department I was in had a SCRUM room that is used for project planning and management. This room had whiteboard paint on the walls which were covered in writing, diagrams and post-its. The writing and post-its also covered the large windows of the room.

The panel and job shadow experience was an incredibly validating experience. I was able to see how these skills are truly valued and necessary for success in today's workforce. In addition to attending keynotes, discussion panels and participating the job shadow opportunity, we  are given time to create a lesson with support from technology integration specialist. The 21st Century Skills Project is my focus during this time. My goal for this year is to help provide all teachers with innovative ways they can truly integrate (not add) 21st Century Skills into their current teaching plan. During this week I am working on enhancing and refining the project in order to provide a comprehensive and valuable resource for our district.

-Jodi Burling

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