Trish Weill is pretty tethered to her students.
That’s because students in the design-related classes she teaches are using technologies such as Pinterest, Tumblr, or WordPress, to work and connect with her both in and out of the classroom. Her familiarity with using technology in the classroom was the subject of her breakout session at the Southern Vermont Educators annual symposium last month. And it was a topic the owner of DelishDesign and CCV instructor of six years was thrilled to talk about with K-12 educators.
“It’s really exciting, because having come from an experience where many people have been very hands-off from these devices, it’s really exciting to hear people discussing so openly how to use them, how to integrate them into the classroom, and how to get people comfortable with them,” Weill said after the symposium.
The theme of this year’s symposium was Bring Your Own Device, or, BYOD. Weill’s presentation, which drew approximately 15 attendees, focused in on using technology in the creative classroom. During her session, students from Weill’s graphic design class assisted her from offsite locations by contributing research to Pinterest boards as she explained how the web service can be used for projects. Weill said she thought it was eye opening for teachers, many of whom have used the web tools personally, to see how they could be incorporated into classrooms.
“Every single class that I teach, every single project I assign for my design classes, there is a board on Pinterest for them to go to,” Weill said. “Right now they’re doing web design, social media and advertising, and that’s a huge board of the most up-to-date data and infographics on the project they’re working on.”
Using the internet, and web apps in class, Weill said, is critical if we want to be teaching relevant information. Particularly in fields such as web design.
“It’s too new, they can’t write books about it fast enough,” she said. “We need to use this technology to get the blog posts and the material into the classroom.”
And while getting the latest and greatest material into the classroom is important to Weill, there’s another reason to BYOD: students are already there. They’re already using and learning from the technology, and it’s what gets them fired up, so teachers should embrace it.
“If you can try to get into the mind of the student and how they work and learn about what energizes them, the sky is the limit,” Weill says. “We can push them in ways we never thought possible.”