NDA Teachers Attend Technology Conference, Bring Back Info for Staff


Sophie Hornberger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Last week two NDA teachers attended the School Leaders Advancing Technology in Education conference, or SLATE for short. History and English teacher Steven Stary and math teacher Megan McClay spent part of the week at the conference in Wisconsin Dells. 

The event is designed to introduce educators and administrators to new technologies, along with teaching them ways to better use technology in education. 

“There are over 100 different sessions you could go to and you learn different things in different ones,” said Stary. “One might be Google tips and tricks and hacks and another one might be how to get into podcasting with your students.” 

Stary, who has attended this conference multiple times, especially took an interest in implementing a podcasting project into his classroom. 

“I learned that there is an NPR student podcasting competition,” said Stary. “Each year, teachers from around the country can submit the podcast that their students have created, and then it could be voted on as one of the best student podcasts of the year.” 

Stary was sure to collect information about technologies for other teachers. 

“I would just gather fliers or information and when I got back I passed it on to the relevant people,” said Stary. 

“I think the coolest technology I saw was E-Glass,” said Stary. “It looks like you’re writing on a pane of glass, but it’s actually the projection on the screen reversed so it’s going forward to the students, but you’re writing forward from your perspective.” 

“I could imagine like for a math or science class if they’re doing equations and things, and they want to be able to interact with their class as they’re doing that, it would be pretty cool,” Stary said. 

He also found an interesting electronic hall pass system he plans to pass on to the administration. 

“You would have all of your classroom passes on your phone on an app instead of your planner,” said Stary. “Because let’s face it, you guys always lose the agenda but you don’t lose your phones.” 

Stary thinks the slate conference is something that has and continues to be helpful for advancing technology at Notre Dame, and he believes that all teachers would benefit from attending at least once. The SLATE conference helped Notre Dame implement the Bring-Your-Own-Device program and many other technologies. 

As far as current technology at NDA, Stary thinks things are going well. 

“I think we actually do a pretty good job here. In the 20-some years that I’ve been a teacher here, I’ve gone from actual chalk and chalkboards to whiteboards, to smartboards, and projectors. And now, of course, everything’s done on Chromebooks and iPads,” said Stary. “We’ve come a long way. I hope that we keep up with it in the future.”