Nearly 200 educators from around the region spent time at Wright State University over the summer to learn about everything from computer programming and digital media to teaching strategies on disruptive behavior and take those lessons back to their classrooms.
A total of 180 teachers, administrators and community professionals registered for the 2018 Summer Partnership Institute hosted by the Wright State College of Education and Human Services. Many of the teachers took part in several of the 22 professional development sessions, resulting in the awarding of 400 certificates.
Most of the P–12 teachers were from Dayton Public Schools. Others hailed from throughout Raider Country, the 16 counties surrounding Wright State’s two campuses.
It was the second year for the institute, which offered sessions in June, July and August.
Tracey Kramer, senior lecturer and director of the Office of Partnerships and Field Experiences, said the institute was created to offer free professional development. It was organized by Amy Elston, instructor and assistant director of the Office of Partnerships and Field Experiences.
“It’s really hard to get free professional development anywhere these days,” Kramer said. “I think that they like that we’re offering that. The whole purpose is to give back to our local community and thank them because they work with our teacher candidates.”
The College of Education and Human Services faculty presented many of the sessions. Other units on campus also donated their expertise to lead sessions. Elston and Kramer say they are grateful for the collaboration from the Office of Disability Services and the Office of LGBTQA Affairs to host sessions. Local partner Southwest Ohio Instructional Technology Association (SOITA) also supported the institute this summer.
Elston said Wright State reached out to the teachers to come up with topics for the sessions.
“We offered a variety of sessions,” she said. “We tried to include anything we think might be valuable and useful.”
This year’s sessions included thinking and talking about race in the classroom, promoting active participation, youth mental health and first-aid training, computational thinking and computer programming, reading processes, understanding ADHD, using digital media to enhance student learning, how to deal with disruptive behavior and the transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education.
Kramer said the most popular sessions were the two related to using Google in the classroom.
“I think more and more districts are doing one-to-one, with students having devices and students having Chromebook laptop computers,” she said. “So as more districts come on board with that, teachers are having to get to know how to use that tool. And the teachers that have dabbled in it probably like to expand their knowledge, learn more about it.”