This post comes to us from guest Blogger Heather Mayernik, Professor of Reading. If you are a Macomb faculty and have an idea you’d like to share, contact us! We are always looking for writers. -CTL staff
It’s dark, an internal cave, there’s a light, gleaming at the edge. Trying to escape from this cave can be near impossible, but when you’re guided, it suddenly becomes much simpler. The same can be said for learning, which is why there are teachers. But sometimes, even teachers need help, need something to supplement their fallible knowledge. There are places that can help educate the educators, show them new techniques to then use in the classroom. One of these is MACUL, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning.
MACUL is a free professional organization. The staff and members support teachers who desire to learn about technology and integrate it into their classrooms. Our classrooms at Macomb are full of digital learners, and classroom teaching is enhanced with new media such as video clips and informational slides. Teachers require students to continue academic conversations outside of the classroom using social media, for example Twitter and Tumblr. Students share with classmates, and even get help from free internet resources. As a teacher of these students, we can look to MACUL for help as we master the use of new technology tools and explore ways technology can support instruction with our students. The best things about MACUL are the website, conferences, and journal, all of which are free to members.
The MACUL Website
The MACUL website offers opportunities to learn and share with other teachers. The website can be accessed at www.MACUL.org. After signing up, a teacher can read and participate in discussion forums in MACUL SPACE. Here you can see some of the current discussions.
Also, there is a link to the Michigan Electronic Library on the resources page of the MACUL website. Becoming a member is easy if you have a Michigan library card or driver’s licence. Here a teacher can find resources and webinars about technology. They can also share this tool with students, and provide them with easily accessible ebooks and databases.
Another helpful link on the MACUL site is The 21 Things for the 21st Century Educator. This is a free professional development training created by MACUL members and a few ISDs around the state. Topics including flipping the classroom, online interactive learning tools and computer basics are explored in a hands-on, easy to follow format. Below are some of the topics to choose from:
- Evaluation and Assessment
- Digital story telling
- Digital Images
- Virtual Session Recordings
- Content Area Tools
The MACUL Conference
MACUL offers many small conferences throughout the year; however, the largest conference is located in Detroit’s Cobo Hall over the weekend of March 20-22, 2013. The theme this year is Blending Technology & Curriculum for Today’s Learner. This conference attracts national speakers and exhibitors, and more information about the conference is on the MACUL website.
When members sign up for MACUL they have the opportunity to join a special interest group (SIG). At a MACUL conference SIG’s hold special meetings and pre-conference sessions. These are usually smaller sessions for more individual discussion. This is a great time to meet other teachers interested in similar technologies.
Special Interest Group Sessions
The MACUL Journal
The MACUL quarterly publication that comes with the MACUL membership is delivered to member’s homes. It is full of helpful articles on current classroom technology practices. Examples of these articles are….
Spring 2013 MACUL Journal
Winter 2013 MACUL Journal
Ultimately, MACUL offers various ways for teachers to better their ability to use technology in the classroom and find new ideas to try. Whether a teacher visits a conference and holds discussions with their fellow educators or reads articles on technology in the available journal, there are multiple ways to learn. It’s always helpful to have a hand guiding through an ever-growing expanse of new ideas, and whether a teacher prefers reading online or talking in person, there is a way for everyone to grow.