Tag Archives: teacher training

Tech bus delivers training

Take a standard 40-foot, 84-passenger yellow school bus and make it into a rolling technology center.

Scottsdale Unified School District unveiled its eCoach yesterday at Mohave Middle School. They brought out the Saguaro High School Jazz Band, provided refreshments, put up a tent to shade attendees and conducted quick tours through the bus, which is equipped with a Smartboard, document camera, audio, Wi-Fi, extra air conditioners and enough room for 11 people and an instructor.

The eCoach was crowded with students, district staff and members of the media during yesterday's unveiling ceremony.

Tom Clark, the district’s chief technology officer, said it wasn’t too expensive to create because the district already had the bus, district employees made the furniture, partners donated various parts and services to make it a reality and they’ll have a district bus driver cruise around to where the teachers are. All in all, Clark said, it cost “a few thousand.”

The district also intends to use the bus for community outreach to teach parents about the technology their kids are using in school and to provide online access to kids who might not have a computer or an Internet connection at home.

The benefit for teachers is that they will be able to schedule the eCoach to come to their school when they need training rather than having to drive to another school or the district office.

One area of staff development Clark mentioned was the increasing use of iPads in the classroom and apps to enhance the teaching and learning process. The eCoach will make it easier for teachers to get up to speed on the newest apps.

Scan code on the side of the eCoach.

There are 31 schools in the Scottsdale district and about 1,700 teachers, so it looks like the eCoach driver will be on the road non-stop for much of the school year.

For more information, visit ecoach.susd.org.


Band camp for teachers

Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy. Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy comes to Mesa Center for the Arts from Jan. 5 to 7. The program, now in its 12th year, brings band directors together to discuss and learn about jazz education techniques.

Think big band rehearsal techniques, teaching improvisation and rhythm section techniques — all led by some of the country’s foremost jazz educators.

Faculty members include Marcus Printup, educator and trumpeteer for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Also musicians/educators from Northern Illinois University, Michigan State University and Sun Prairie High School in Wisconsin.

The academy emphasizes hands-on learning and techniques that can be immediately applied to the classroom. It includes classes, demo sessions with a student big band, jam sessions, topic discussions and a faculty concert. Even a screeing of the film “Chops,” a documentary about one high school band’s experience with the Essentially Ellington Festival.

Typical class topics include directed listening, voice leading for better harmonic improvisation, transcribing, vocalization and internalizing rhythm in jazz, motivating a young improviser and a cultural approach to teaching improvisation.

All academy events take place at the Mesa Arts Center, located in downtown Mesa at 1 East Main Street. Registration fees have been underwritten by the Boeing Foundation, so the full two-and-a-half day academy costs just $99.

Click here for additional information about this and other education/outreach programs, or to register for the program. Or call the Mesa Arts Center box office at 480-644-6500.

— Lynn Trimble

Hands-on experience for aspiring teachers

Photo courtesy of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University is offering a program called iTeachAZ in partnership with school districts around Arizona. The program allows future educators to switch back and forth between their roles as teachers and student as they get the hands-on experience essential for success.

Aspiring teachers are given the chance to work and participate fully in Arizona’s school districts. The supervised program provides the experience teachers need to gain master’s degrees and enter the field while giving them the opportunity to create relationships with staff and administrators at schools where they may someday work.

Anyone who already has a bachelor’s degree and who is interested in the elementary school teaching world is encouraged to get more information and join the program.

The next information session, for the Deer Valley Unified School District, is at 5pm Tuesday, April 12, at Mirage Elementary School, 3910 W. Grovers Ave. in Glendale.

For more information, call 623-258-9431 or visit the ASU site.