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SJU's Digital Literacies Summer Institute Offers Innovative Teaching Strategies

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Offering hands-on training in the latest digital education strategies, St. John’s University’s Digital Literacies Summer Institute hosted a variety of in-depth workshops for K–12 teachers at the Staten Island campus on May 31.

Now in its fourth year, the full-day event gave participants practical techniques for incorporating digital literacy and multidisciplinary approaches to enhance classroom learning. “We provide deeply needed training that has immediate applications,” said Sandra Schamroth Abrams, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in The School of Education at St. John’s. “When it comes to technology, there is always something new to learn, which makes teaching both challenging and exciting.” 

This year’s workshops covered topics such as effective teaching with SMART Boards and Web 2.0 tools. It also offered sessions on art-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects, as well as a lesson lab, where participants reconceptualized existing lesson plans.

“We’ve been successful in raising awareness of how digital instruction can assist in the learning process,” said Aliya Holmes, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction. “The goal is to help teachers develop a comfort level with these powerful tools.”

The Digital Literacies Summer Institute was created by Abrams, Holmes, and Deborah Greh, Ed.D., professor of mass communications. The three are codirectors of the Institute, along with Xiaojun Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and Helen Kwah, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. All five are confident the initiative will have continued success in offering practical training to educators.