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Mississippi teachers reflect on QTL™

Fall 2004

Teachers and administrators in two Mississippi school systems -- Simpson County and Jones County -- had the opportunity to experience QTL™ during Summer 2004. The Jones County session happened in late August and early September - just before the system began its new school year. Twenty educators attended - four teams each composed of four teachers and one administrator.

Mississippi teachers work on digital photography in a QTL workshop
Simpson County, MS teachers tackle digital photography for a QTL assignment. The program, which uses technology tools in the context of active learning of the core curriculum, was also offered at a demonstration site in Jones County.

Tamara McCulloch, director of instruction for ExplorNet's Centers for Quality Teaching & Learning, led the session and was impressed by the group's enthusiasm and open attitudes. "It's really cool to watch the transformation of people," she says.

Participants say many of their thoughts on approaching the classroom were transformed. McCulloch asked for reflections on the QTL™ experience. The responses she received are a strong illustration of the many benefits teachers take from QTL™.

Below is a sampling of what participants had to say:

"This was the BEST workshop I've ever been involved in. I learned soooo much new information. I thought that I knew a lot about technology, but I've found that I can always learn something new. Thank you so much for making our week so enjoyable. I think you all should let the teachers know that the workshop is centered around a learning environment, not just a regular workshop. I was kind of dreading this but now that I know about it I love it."
-Tiffani Lyons, teacher

"WOW! What would I tell another educator? Don't miss the opportunity to go to the workshop - the administration will come and say fill out this paperwork in one hour because I have to fax it to someone. Well - fill it out and get ready to be excited, to have your love of teaching refreshed. You will discover software that will excite the students, but also the strategies that are modeled are the teacher refreshing parts. We so often are hung by "the test" and can't get past the stigma, but with the renewal of the strategies into the classroom teaching become fun again. I even found myself waking up in the night thinking of ways to use this new technology and strategies that I had learned in college but didn't know how to merge the two."
-Sharon Williams, teacher

"I just want you to know that I really enjoyed the workshop this week. I have learned many new things to use in my school. I can't wait to get back to show and tell the teachers about all of this. I would tell other teachers that this workshop was about how to blend educational strategies with technology in any lesson at any grade level. We were shown many new programs and were allowed to experiment with the programs. We were shown technology devices that are available for teacher use. We were able to use and experiment with these devices as well.

"This workshop was a hands-on workshop. It let the teachers use their creative imaginations to explore technology. Examples of activities would include: critical thinking, group work, using a digital camera, problem solving, computer training, narrative writing, multi-sensory activities, activities in many academic areas and much more!! I would recommend this workshop to all educators!!
-Lisa Ishee, instructional technology director for the district

"I not only enjoyed this workshop, but I learned a lot of computer skills. Power Point, moving things from the internet and file to file. It also opened my eyes to different and very user-friendly software. It was at a good pace and hands on."
-Tommy Branch, school principal

"I knew that technology was an effective tool in teaching. I wanted to know how it can be used to be most effective. I now understand that there are many different types of programs that can be used to meet the learning needs of all types of learning styles. I want you to know that this has been one of the most interesting and useful workshops that I have attended. You have made the experience enjoyable. Your professional attitude and easy-going personality is very beneficial as a facilitator."
-Rusty Rutland, school principal

"The workshop was a wonderful experience. It has given me lots of new and innovative ideas to take back to my classroom. I did not realize how grouping four people to a computer could really work as smoothly as it did. All learning styles can be met through the concepts this workshop offers. I would tell any teacher to inquire in the district about attending one of these workshops and if the district does not offer it ask for it."
-Sylvia Busby, teacher

"The class teaches technology that allow students to approach learning through hands-on and computer software. Teachers are guided to help students use their learning styles to best achieve their success. Brain-based learning and cooperative grouping activities help teachers provide strategies for teaching academic tasks."
-Sherry Sumrall, teacher

"What can I say....this has been the best workshop I have attended in years. I now know how to use technology correctly in my classroom. I can't wait to go back to my classroom so that I can share with my students the information I have learned. When I first walked in to the workshop, I was under the impression that our district had bought software, I was to learn how to use it and share it with my fellow teachers. WRONG... I soon realized that I was learning content using the computer and other strategies without even realizing that I was learning. We used all kinds of different software and digital equipment to discover new things. I am now not scared of the computer. I have learned how to use PowerPoint, how to transfer and crop pictures.....so much that I can't list it all. THANKS!!!"
-Mechelle Shoe, teacher

"This has been a very informative workshop and I have enjoyed it very much.  I would best describe this as a workshop that allows you to experience, hands-on, various types of new software programs that are very helpful in the classroom. After attending this workshop, I have received many new and different ideas of how to incorporate technology across the curriculum."
-Catrina Taylor, teacher

"I have REALLY enjoyed this workshop. It is one of the best that I have attended in my 20 years as a teacher. You have helped me become more confident and comfortable with the concept of using technology in my class. I know that my students will benefit from the information that you have given me. Thank you for making it not only informative---thanks for making it FUN!!!
-Melody Easley, teacher

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the QTL workshop; I'm so excited about implementing this new way of learning to my students. I absolutely love it! I know my students will love it as well. During this week I have learned how to do so many different things using technology in the classroom all while having fun. This is by far the best workshop I have ever attended. I learned everything from PowerPoint, to computerized microscope, digital camera, different software available. I am very excited about implementing this program into my weekly routine in my class. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable tool with me."
-Tiffany Sanford, teacher

"This is a great workshop that teaches you various ways to use technology to enhance your teaching. I learned more about power point and using the digital camera. The software that I was exposed to was awesome and very useful. I loved the kidpix, graphing program, and inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop."
-Donna Smith, teacher

"The ExplorNet workshop has been an asset to my professional development. I have always had a phobia of technology and now I can't wait to get back to my classroom to implement some of the new ideas in my classroom. There has been great software programs introduced that can be adjusted to fit any subject area that kids will love. I have enjoyed having time to play with these programs as well as completing activities to make sure we understand how they work.

"The setting of this workshop has been the most informative, relaxed, comfortable and beneficial workshop that I have ever had the opportunity to attend. We had many interesting class, group and individual tasks to complete using different technological tools. I really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in professional discussions among our class. In these discussions we were able to share such ideas or strategies concerning classroom management, stories of experience with cooperative learning, differentiation, and of course how we can bring technology into our classroom without having all the tools that were available in the workshop. Many basic ideas were introduced that could be very beneficial and creative with basic technology tools.

"The instructor was GREAT. She was a excellent model of a classroom instructor with many interesting ideas and theories. She had a real laid back personality and seemed to enjoy her job and was excited about our interest in the information she had to share. I would encourage any teacher that has the opportunity to attend this workshop to fight for the chance to attend."
-Shanna Matthews, social studies teacher

Another full Cycle of QTL is scheduled for additional teachers beginning Oct. 11. Other sessions in Mississippi have been held in Simpson County.


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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