TECH 2019 Student Technology Demonstration at Illinois State Capitol

On Tuesday, May 7, the 29th annual TECH 2019 student technology showcase was held at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.  Mrs. Colleen Kaplan, Technology Integration Specialist, and students Cate D. ‘22, Ella D. ‘22 and John G. ‘21 attended and demonstrated the Microsoft MakeCode app which, when used to program the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express circuit boards, allows students to experience the power of physical computing and the excitement of building their own unique coding creations. 
Hundreds of students and teachers representing schools from throughout the state, presented technology to the public and members of the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives, that is being used in the classroom to increase student engagement and improve achievement.

During the event, K-12 students and teachers demonstrated engaging projects that utilize 3D printers, video, graphic design, robotics, animation and more. Legislators were invited to attend the event to see first-hand the importance of technology in education today and to interact with students and their teachers.

This year a new element was added to the day’s events. A TECH Talk assembly between sessions allowed all attendees to hear from legislators and young innovators like themselves who will inspire the students with what they have learned in the classroom and how they utilize that to influence change outside the classroom.

According to TECH 2019 Co-Chair, Joanna Carroll, “Personal devices, the internet, and digital content are the enabling tools of the modern learning environment, expanding the boundaries of the classroom while promising to transform all aspects of learning: teachers, students, and parents are provided access to tools and resources that promote accountability, communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking; digital resources and curriculum offer dynamic, engaging, and affordable content to enhance or even replace traditional print-based resources; and blended and flipped classrooms extend the classroom beyond the limits of the school day, promoting increased student-centered and self-directed learning opportunities that put educational resources directly into the hands of students.”
 
TECH 2019 was presented by Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), a statewide 503(c) non-profit organization dedicated to leadership in education through technology. Formed in 1986 by a group of 30 educators, ICE has grown to more than 12,000+ members comprised of teachers, technology coordinators, library media specialists, administrators, higher education representatives, school support staff and other stakeholders in Illinois education. ICE continues to reach out to educators and partners who share the philosophy and dedication of developing leadership in education technology through the support and development of professional learning opportunities that provide growth and use of technology in all facets of the educational process.

While visiting TECH 2019, Dr. Betsy Ackerson had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of SFHS and meet with Senate President, John Cullerton '66 (pictured), State Senator, Laura Ellman, State Representative, Amy Grant, and Zach Wichmann, Director of Government Relations, Catholic Conference of IL.
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St. Francis High School