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DSU College of Education offering free webinars

April 30, 2020

College of EducationDakota State’s College of Education is offering free webinars for teachers and parents on various tech tools and resources that can be used while teaching virtually. 

Dr. Kevin Smith, Dr. Jennifer Nash, Dr. Katie Anderson, and Kindra Schneider are the faculty members teaching the classes. While some of these sessions have already taken place, you can sign up for the remaining webinars here. 

The sessions cover the use of tools like Flipgrid, Seesaw, and Nearpod. Other sessions will feature online literacy resources, resources for reading with your child, and resources for English Language Learners (ELL). 

“We selected tools and topics that we know teachers are using or want to learn more about,” Smith said. Smith is assistant professor of mathematics education at Dakota State and coordinator of the Master of Science in Educational Technology (MSET) program. 

DSU’s College of Education works with area teachers to provide DSU students with field experience. Area teachers also function as cooperating teachers for the year-long student teaching residency. DSU wants to give back to these teachers by offering help in this new teaching environment. 

“K-12 teachers have been asked to move into an online environment that is very different than being in a classroom with students face-to-face,” said Dr. Crystal Pauli, dean of the College of Education. “If we can lessen any anxiety or stress they are feeling by offering these quick help sessions we want to support them.” 

“We really want to help teachers during this challenging time and demonstrate our expertise in remote learning,” added Smith. 

Schneider, instructor of elementary education, knows from experience as an elementary school and ELL teacher the benefits of learning about tech tools for teaching online. 

“In my elementary classroom and with my ELL students I used quite a bit of technology,” she said. “However, since I was face-to-face with my students, I did not use a lot of the tech tools that are most beneficial for online learning. Therefore, I can see what a great support these sessions can be to teachers who have never had to teach in an online environment in the past.” 

Smith recommends teachers focus on quality over quantity while teaching right now and to remain flexible. 

The College of Education degree from DSU includes a K-12 Educational Technology Endorsement for all education students. This gives future teacher candidates the tech tools, pedagogy, and mindset to teach effectively in a traditional classroom and online, Pauli shared. 

“Those skills are serving student teachers and their cooperating teachers well during the pandemic,” Pauli said. 

Smith shared that the current situation matches the skills that are taught in the MSET program. 

“This remote learning situation highlights the value and importance of being able to integrate technology into the learning environment effectively, and that is what this degree is all about.”

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