Laptops, 3D printers and virtual reality headsets. Oh my.
McAlester Public Schools will host the 2017 Tech Expo — with “The Big Buff Theory” set for the theme — from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester to showcase how students use technology in the classroom to prepare for careers after graduation.
“To pull off something of this magnitude, it really takes every single one of us pulling on the rope,” MPS Director of Secondary Curriculum Stephanie Holt said. “We’re happy to do that, because we feel like this is really something that showcases what’s best about what we do in McAlester.”
MPS anticipates about 100 booths this year — including ones from each school within the district.
Most of the school booths this year will include hands-on demonstrations by students on how they use various technology in the classroom.
One booth will have virtual reality headsets to provide attendees the opportunity to take a virtual field trip.
The event’s “virtual reality corral” will be on the Mezzanine level to help keep attendees from wandering across the Expo Center with the goggles.
The school has also ordered virtual reality headsets for use in the classroom.
Another booth will display the school’s 3D printer, which makes three-dimensional, solid objects based on a digital file.
MPS has 12 teachers leading digital classrooms with students using three types of devices — iPads, Chromebooks and PCs — for the remainder of the school year. The students will also report their experiences with each device at the end of the year.
“We’re looking at going one-to-one with computers and everybody having a device,” MPS Superintendent Randy Hughes said. “Education has changed so much in the last five years with everything that’s available.”
MPS hosted its first Tech Expo in 2015, when more than 1,000 people packed into the Southeast Expo Center to see 77 MPS employees working 45 booths regarding technology usage across the school district.
Also in 2015, 37 business sponsored and/or participated in the event and MPS district services added 22 workers to 13 booths.
Some of the booths in 2015 included Jefferson Elementary’s “tech detectives,” William Gay Elementary students demonstrating how to use iPads, Edmond Doyle students demonstrating how to use the Storybird app, Emerson students demonstrating how to use QR codes, Will Rogers students using ebooks, Parker Intermediate students creating videos, Puterbaugh Middle School students demonstrating HTML code for web pages, and high school students demonstrating augmented reality among others.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about it and if it’s a good thing, that’s what we want,” Hughes said of the Tech Expo. “We want to create good things and make it happen for our students, for our teachers, for our community.”
MPS still has openings for sponsors and booths for businesses and organizations until the end of the week. Any interested businesses and organizations interested can call the school at 918-423-4771.
Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at firstname.lastname@example.org.