Sixth annual NEOtech Conference brings K-12 educators to Kent State

Julianne Calapa

Northeast Ohio K-12 teachers, administrators and technology educators gathered for the sixth annual NEOtech Conference at the Kent State Student Center on Friday, March 20.

School technology provider Northeast Ohio Network for Educational Technology, or NEOnet, and its member schools hosted the conference to promote educational technology and to integrate current technology trends into classrooms, said Lance Green, a NEOtech committee member and the technology director for Copley-Fairlawn City Schools in Copley, Ohio.

The free conference welcomed more than 450 attendees representing about 90 Northeast Ohio school districts.

“We have people coming from Stark County, Cuyahoga County, Portage County, Summit County and even as far as Sandusky County,” Green said. “This conference is just a really good example of a regional effort to provide additional professional development related to technology.”

NEOnet Executive Director Matthew Gdovin said the conference centers around sharing best technology practices.

“The NEOtech Conference really focuses on creating connections amongst teachers and administrators from Northeast Ohio to discuss how to include technology in education,” Gdovin said.

The seven-hour conference consisted of five sessions with more than 40 presenters teaching technology topics. Some of the sessions taught skills related to Google Drive, online assessments, Google Chromebooks, educational apps and even 3-D printing.

Daniel Mahony, the dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, opened the conference with a brief address.

“The opportunity to host the NEOtech Conference is so important to us,” Mahony said. “It is consistent with the value we place on efforts to explore technology to improve teaching and learning. We have seen, through our research in Kent’s AT&T Classroom and elsewhere in the college, the possibilities that exist with technology to enhance 21st century education.”

Angie Wagler, a NEOtech committee member and director of technology and professional development for Norton City Schools in Norton, Ohio, said she hopes teachers take away ideas from the conference of how to be more collaborative using technology.

“Teachers are always looking for ways to make things more real world, so we really just hope to spark and inspire some new ideas for teachers and their classrooms,” Wagler said. “It’s really been a great experience, and we keep hearing a lot of great responses from teachers.”

Contact Julianne Calapa at [email protected].