More than 100 high school teachers from seven states wrapped up a week-long workshop at the Shreveport Convention Center Friday.
They learned how to infuse cutting-edge cyber education concepts into their subject specialty. The third annual Education Discovery Forum is a project of the Cyber Innovation Center or CIC in Bossier City. The CIC’s cyber curriculum is now taught in 35 states, according to academic outreach coordinator Kevin Nolten.
The teachers rolled up their sleeves and tried out lesson plans. In advanced math, they made parabolic solar cookers to bake banana bread. Nolten says teachers could choose one of four “threads.”
“One of the components I’ve enjoyed seeing is teachers who’ve been teaching for 20 or 30 years walking away from this forum recharged and ready to teach another 20 to 30 years because of the new way of thinking, the new content, and the new cyber threads and a different way of looking at education,” Nolten said.
Peter Melton teaches computer science at a high school in Miami. He says the CIC’s curriculum takes real-world challenges and weaves it into daily lesson plans.
“In our packet, there’s an article on hacking. Well, 21 million names were taken from the government recently. Guess what I’m teaching the next day? Boom. I’m making that real-life connection in the classroom. That’s very, very valuable,” Melton said, who is teaching computer science after seven years as an algebra teacher.
In future years, Nolten says, this conference will be held in Dallas and Atlanta. The cost to deliver this professional development is funded mostly through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.
The CIC’s cyber curriculum of STEM and liberal arts materials are created for middle and high school students.
High school students would prefer to play the latest computer game, according to Melton, but he’ll teach them through his computer science course how to control the computer.
“What this program is going to do is to help students be the ones who are innovating, who are writing the programs and writing the codes,” Melton said.