Kevin Honeycutt excited participants with two outstanding days of workshops on using Mobile Learning and Cultivating Young Artists, stressing that every student has skills and ideas to offer the world. Each day Kevin showcased how engaging the young learner was key to getting them to “learn to love to learn”. Participants used laptops and iPads to explore new applications and to become themselves engaged in learning. You may find more of Kevin’s resources on his web site, www.kevinhoneycutt.org.
ESU #11 held the Special Education Winter Update on Friday, February 24, 2012. The group of 52 attendees enjoyed a parent video, followed by updates and beneficial information regarding Rule 51 and file reviews.
Staff that attended the 2011 Tri-State Regional Special Education Law Conference November 3-4, 2011 in Omaha, NE shared some of the information they received at the conference with the rest of the group. After lunch everyone broke into groups to discuss and brainstorm ideas about IEP’s and its processes. Finally, the day was rounded out with discussion of upcoming workshops being held at ESU #11 and surrounding areas.
All in all it was a good day, and everyone that attended enjoyed getting together and sharing ideas, concerns, and discussion with fellow professionals in the Special Education field.
On February 29, 2012, Educational Service Unit #11 sponsored a meeting for area guidance counselors. During this particular meeting, Doctors Jason Coleman and Jay Irwin of UNMC presented information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students in Nebraska. This special group of students is a growing population throughout the state of Nebraska, and this presentation helped provide the counselors with a wealth of information so they are better able to assist these students in the school setting.
On February 23, 2012, Technology Consultant Bob Hays coordinated a LiveScribe Pen workshop. This is a follow-up workshop to the initial workshop that was held in November. ESU #11 has purchased a LiveScribe Pen for each school who is a part of the Carl Perkins Consortium. This pen records what one writes and what is said while one is writing. This mobile device has applications for all subject areas. This technology allows teachers to create pencasts. These pencasts can then be emailed to students who are absent, in alternative schools, hospital/homebound programs, etc. These students can actually hear how the teacher taught the lesson. Teachers can also embed a pencast into their websites. In addition, this device can be used as a homework helper. Interactive pencast videos on a range of topics can be posted for students to review when they are completing the assignment. This device is beneficial for students of all learning styles. This workshop provided participants the opportunity to review implementation strategies, and ask questions regarding the usage of this mobile device.
On February 2, 2012, ESU #11 hosted an art enrichment workshop for area art teachers. This workshop was facilitated by Chris Dolan from Minden Public School, and was designed for the artist/educator teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade. This year’s project was papier-mache. The traditional method of making papier-mâché paste is to use a mixture of water and flour or other starch, mixed to the consistency of heavy cream. The paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the surface and allowed to dry. Once dried, the resulting material can be cut, sanded and/or painted, and waterproofed by painting with a suitable water repelling paint. In addition to learning this new art technique, the art teachers were also able to collaborate and share other ideas that they were able to take back to their individual schools.