Every year, we at eMINTS offer some pre-conference workshops the day before the conference commences. This year, we have three such workshops underway. There are sessions covering Weebly, SMART Products, as well as Google Apps. Roger Brallier of Mexico, MO is back again this year to present on managing a classroom website using Weebly in “Wock Your Webpage with
Weebly”. Roger is an experienced and knowledgeable eMINTS trainer who is best when it comes to do-it-yourself projects. With Weebly, Roger can demonstrate how easy it is for one to create and manage a website using this free online tool. In “Applying Research-Based Strategies Using SMART Products”, presenter Martha Bogart of Cooperating School Districts (St. Louis) shows participants how SMART Boards and SMART Notebook can be used effectively in the classroom. While I was stopping by, Martha was sharing the wonder of pull tabs in Notebook as a way to reveal key information or instructions for students using the SMART Board. Throughout the session, a connection is made with the nine McREL (Marzano) research-based strategies and SMART Tech products. It’s always great to learn how pedagogy meets technology in the classroom. Centralia’s Matt McKenzie presents on the many benefits of Google Apps. These free tools offered by Google can fill classroom, team, and school district needs with just a Google account. Matt is extremely knowledgeable in this area as his school district has made some major strides in integrating Google Apps in nearly every aspect teacher and student work. Pre-conference sessions are typically three hours. They are often extended versions of the hour-long sessions we provide during the meat of the conference. The three sessions above are just a taste of what the eMINTS Conference has to offer participants over the next few days. Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.