Newslines–South Dakota teachers learn how to use technology

About 1,200 South Dakota teachers are back in the classroom this summer, learning to integrate technology into their classrooms through a program started in 1997 by Gov. Bill Janklow.

Two month-long sessions are scheduled at Southeast Technical Institute at Sioux Falls, Northern State University, and Black Hills State University.

About 3,000 instructors will go through the state-sponsored Technology for Teaching and Learning (TTL) Academy by the end of this year, said Harris Haupt, manager for the sites. The state pays for the program, and teachers receive $1,000 to buy technology equipment for their classrooms.

Besides the teacher training, school administrators can attend two-week sessions at the University of South Dakota. Other educators can study distance learning at Dakota State University, and technology administrators can take classes at the South Dakota School of Mines.

The curriculum for the TTL Academy includes training in using the internet, developing PowerPoint presentations, using digital cameras, preparing spreadsheets, and using eMail.

Teachers will take home a disc with the lessons they’ve created. They also will have learned shortcuts to finding relevant information on the internet and will have a list of effective web sites for classroom learning.

Linda Holdhusen, a high school English teacher in Baltic, is putting together a multiple-discipline unit on American literature that will include history, math, technology, and speech. She’s also planning to have her speech students do a PowerPoint presentation.

While she is learning ways to incorporate technology, Holdhusen said: “I’m not going to put technology in everything I do. Little by little, I’m going to do more.”

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