SVRTC’s February meeting was held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at Nottoway High School. The meeting was attended by twenty-one professionals with representation from fifteen divisions (Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Henry, Hopewell, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Petersburg, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward). While committee members had a lot to discuss since the November meeting (no December meeting and January meeting canceled to weather), participants first got to enjoy a presentation from Sharon Bolan, a Library Media Specialist from Lunenburg County Public Schools.
Ms. Bolan’s presentation included a demonstration of several website tools she used to increase student engagement and learning in the classroom. Some of the tools she presented, were “oldies, but goodies”, Bolan said. For a full list of the tools she presented to members, please see the following Google Doc.
SVRTC members from seventeen school divisions (Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Dinwiddie, Franklin City, Greensville, Halifax, Hopewell, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Sussex) were present at the Wednesday, November 15, 2017, meeting.
Amanda Healy, AmeriCorps Program Manager, educated members about the benefits AmeriCorps offers. Ms. Healy explained that AmeriCorps is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is currently funds twelve programs (mostly educational) across the state of Virginia. With a budget of $3.7 million that funds approximately 500 members serving Virginia in 2017-18. She explained the CNCS mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Members learned of the costs and benefits of becoming a host organization. Two of the attending SVRTC divisions (Danville City and Pittsylvania) currently have AmeriCorps members serving in their schools. More information about Ms. Healy’s presentation can be found the website’s Professional Development page.
SVRTC members also got to participate in a presentation by Dr. Paula Leach, ITTIP Director. Members were able to take a field trip without leaving the room as the virtual-reality teaching tool, Google Expeditions, was demonstrated. Dr. Leach guided members on a tour of the Caribbean and other destinations while following along with virtual reality viewers. Suggestions on how Google Expeditions can be used in classrooms to enhance student learning was shared. Dr. Leach informed members that ITTIP has four Google Expeditions kits available for divisions to use in their schools.