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Teachers learn to integrate technology into classes during weeklong workshops


Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894;

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — More than 1,200 Illinois educators have upgraded their computer skills during the past four summers through a weeklong institute called "A Moveable Feast."

Starting next week, as many as 500 more will get the same opportunity, at 10 locations throughout the state.

The institute, organized by the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be held June 24-28 at nine locations: Bloomington High School, Brookwood Junior High School (in Glenwood), Centralia High School, Danville High School, Lake Park High School (in Roselle), Quincy High School, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, Urbana High School, and the College of Education in Champaign.

The institute will be offered a second time, July 8-12 at five of those same sites – Bloomington, Danville, Lake Park, Urbana and the College of Education – as well as at Woodlawn High School (near Mount Vernon).

In addition to the institutes for teachers, the "Moveable Feast" this year added two two-day sessions for administrators, held recently at Bloomington and Lake Park.

Teachers participating in the institute will spend the week improving their skills with various office, productivity, Web and multimedia resources and programs, said Cathy Thurston, director of the college’s Office of Educational Technology. The main focus, however, will be on learning how to integrate technology into classes, and doing so in alignment with Illinois state learning standards and National Education Technology Standards.

Thurston said many teachers want to improve their computer and technology skills, but don’t have the opportunity when they’re teaching. "To be able to sit down for a whole week and do a project for your classroom is a luxury that they don’t have during the school year," she said.

Most of the software used during the institute will be provided free to the participants, thanks to donations from sponsors, Thurston said. Among this year’s free items are CDs with sound effects and music for use in multimedia projects.

After the institute, the teachers also will have free use of space on a college Web server for developing and posting pages they develop for use by their classes. "Many teachers don’t have any place to store a Web page in their district, or if they do, they don’t know where it is, or how to do it," Thurston said.

Sponsoring the institutes along with the university and the school districts are AlphaSmart Inc., FTC Publishing and Microsoft Corp.

More information about the institute can be found at