Teachers go to camp

Over 135 DeForest Area School District teachers, administrators, and support staff enhanced their skills during the district’s “Norski Camp,” held June 10-14 at the middle school. Fifty-two workshop sessions were held throughout the five days, all taught by DASD staff.

Staff learn how to use the district’s new website as a communication tool to benefit students and parents.

Staff learn how to use the district’s new website as a communication tool to benefit students and parents.

“We’ve done summer academies in the past, but this one was the largest and focused technology integration strategies and tools on our big District projects: Literacy, Communication & Collaboration, PBIS & RtI, and Grading & Assessments,” said Learning Information Systems Coordinator Kim Bannigan.

The camp was organized by the district’s technology integrator Christine Rybak, along with Bannigan and staff members of the district’s Technology Integration Leadership Team (TILT). According to TILT committee chair Rybak, TILT is a group of teachers who are interested in learning and sharing ways to integrate technology tools to enhance and transform lessons and learning targets.

The concept for Norski Camp came from what is called “EdCamp,” which is considered a user-generated conference – commonly referred to as an “unconference”. Rybak said that an EdCamp is an alternative way of structuring traditional conferences that allow participants to suggest topics to discuss and share.

Middle school music teacher Sussanah Sasman and band teacher Jim Skaleski work together in the Project Based/Inquiry Based Learning session.

Middle school music teacher Sussanah Sasman and band teacher Jim Skaleski work together in the Project Based/Inquiry Based Learning session.

Participant Laura Kruschek, Digital Communications teacher at the middle school, appreciated the time to learn & teach side by side with her colleagues. “I’ve read numerous articles & a book about flipping the classroom, but no text can compare to the hands on experience & guidance given by two of our own high school teachers that flipped their classrooms. I’m looking forward to utilizing the flipped classroom to meet the individual needs of my students,” said Kruschek.

High school Library Media Specialist Margi Wachowiak echoed Krushek’s comments, “What was so exciting for me was watching all our staff – support staff, teaching staff, and administrative staff – learning together. It was a perfect model of the collaborative culture we’ve been building.”

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