Illinois Students Travel to Springfield for TECH 2017!

Article Date: 5/12/2017

TECH 2017
Twitter: @ice_il   #ILTECH2017 

Governor Rauner kicked-off this year’s TECH 2017 Conference with a group selfie and acknowledged the importance of technology in the classroom. Below are highlights of the event and success stories from some of the Illinois schools who participated.

The purpose of TECH 2017 is to raise awareness of the critical role technology plays in preparing students to succeed in today’s world, and to show the need for increased funding for classroom technology. Hundreds of students demonstrated the creative ways technology is being used to enhance and accelerate student achievement in Illinois schools today.
The Department of Innovation & Technology/Illinois Century Network (DoIT-ICN) is proud to be a supporter and sponsor of TECH 2017. We enjoyed visiting with schools and spending time with some amazing, talented students, many of whom are ICN customers.  

Judith Giacoma Elementary School (Westville, IL)

Connecting Literacy to Digital Literacy in Early Childhood Classrooms
Kindergarten Teacher Patty Collins and her students proudly showcased their writing, phonics and technological skills to us. They used Storybird, a creative community website where young readers and authors share the art of storytelling by creating online picture books. Outstanding work by some of our future Illinois authors!

Grayslake Middle School (Grayslake, IL)

Engage, Explore, Explain
Teacher Jennifer Ersler and her seventh-grade students demonstrate the uses of hyperdocs to Lori Sorenson, Chief Networking Officer of DoIT. A hyperdoc is an interactive, engaging, digital unit that contains an innovative lesson for students - a 21st Century worksheet. Collaboration and sharing are easier than ever before and the possibilities are endless with technology. Kudos to Grayslake Middle School!

Silas Willard Elementary School (Galesburg, IL)

Global Landmark Game
Teacher Sarah Brakenbury and her fourth-grade students presented on Kidlink Global Landmark Games, an event held twice a year for students all over the world. Students work together, select a landmark and share multiple clues. The goal is to figure out as many landmarks as they can from around the globe. Silas came in second in its division this year and took home first place honors among the elementary schools in their division. Well done and congratulations on first and second place honors!

Oakwood Grade School (Oakwood, IL)

Wind Energy, the Wave of the Future
Kimberlee Huchel and her fifth-grade students discussed with ICN staff how they designed and engineered an impressive display highlighting alternate energy sources using wind mills. The students plan to build wind powered generators to energize electric vehicles and charge the rechargeable batteries later this year. Wind energy is truly the wave of the future, great job on this exceptional work!

Graves Elementary School (Summit, IL)

The Wacky World of Bees!
Teacher Christy Smith and her Kindergarten students, through the use of an online program, created a book about bees and shared important facts they learned about the wonderful and wacky world of bees.The students created the storyline and all of the illustrations. When asked who was the Queen Bee, they pointed at Christy Smith, their teacher. Way to go and good job on creating such a Buzz!


Marshall Junior High School (Marshall, IL)

Marshall Cubs Show Civic Duty
Teachers Lauretta Morris and Jeff Whitmore with their eighth-grade students created campaign videos for  the November election. iPads were used to create research criteria about their candidates and they produced videos to share with the student body so that students could make informed decisions. Be sure to check out their technology success story on their YouTube site. Incredible work, we look forward to viewing your next masterpiece!


Minooka Intermediate School (Minooka, IL)

Augmented Reality and Google Classrooms in School Yearbooks
Teacher Tammy Walsh and her sixth-grade students used "Augmented Reality" to produce their middle school yearbook. When using the Aurasma Augmented application, students can simply hold their devices over a certain page of the yearbook and play taped videos of events that happened throughout the school year. Awesome work, you literally brought your yearbook to life!


Coonley Elementary School (Chicago, IL)

Tech Toys Builds STEM Skills
Teacher Karen Malhiot and her fourth-gradestudents used various Tech Toys (Little Bits, Ozobots, Makey Makey and Snap Circuits) to build engineering and coding skills. End result...motorized toys which were built from their entire design process. Cool and innovative! Keep up the good work Coonley Elementary!  


Galileo Scholastic Academy of Math and Science (Chicago, IL)

Coding with EVENTS
Technology Coordinator, Anthony Tsang along with sixth and seventh-grade students, wrote code to express their interests through storytelling, games and arts. By using code, the students become producers rather than consumers when using technology in their classrooms. Spectacular work by some very creative students!


Blue Ridge Intermediate Junior High School (Mansfield, IL)

Digital Bytes - How Teens Can Make a Positive Impact on Our Digital World
Teacher Andre Washington and his eighth-grade students understand how they can make an impact in our digital world in a positive way. Digital Bytes teaches teens digital citizenship through media-rich activities that tackle real-world dilemmas. Teens create collaborative projects and share ideas for making smart and safe choices online such as Internet Hoaxes, Online Tracking, The Power of Likes and much more. You are making a postive impact on Illinois citizens, keep up the good work!


Kelvin Grove Middle School (Lockport, IL)

Tinkering with Illinois, bringing 3D models to life!
Jessica Lakics and her seventh-grade students demonstrated the design process of creating a model of Illinois in TinkerCad a cloud-based 3D design program. The students guided us through the steps in order to form the end product, a hard plastic material shaped like Illinois. The future looks bright for Illinois, we have future engineers and designers ready to join our workforce!


TECH 2017 is a not-for-profit initiative presented by the Illinois Computing Educators, and is supported by a broad range of education and business organizations. Special thanks to TECH 2017 Co-Chairs, Toni Hotzfield and Tim McIlvain for a job well done.

A thumbs-up and high-five to Digital Learning and Technology in Illinois Classrooms!