Education Department Assists K-12 Teachers with Free Training Sessions

July 20, 2017

With the summer for Florida’s K-12 public schools half over, Saint Leo University’s Education Department is assisting teachers with multiple short-term programs useful for the year ahead.

The department hosted its fourth Teacher Technology Summer Institute from July 10 through July 14 at University Campus. About 20 teachers from the Pasco County School District applied to be part of the program, which helps educators explore classroom technologies they would like to integrate into their teaching. The group includes a smaller group of leader-teachers, who have attended the seminar before and pledge to share their new insights with others in their schools.

close up This year, the institute focused on web-based tools available to teachers. Teachers attending gathered in the education classrooms of Kirk Hall. They worked in small groups in a supportive atmosphere to find technologies that can enhance learning, explained Dr. Holly Atkins, associate professor of education and director of the institute. Then the attendees were expected to devise a plan and present it to their peers at the end of the week.

For example, middle-school language arts teachers Dani Sauerwein and Stacie Dunmire (pictured, with Sauerwein on the left in both photos)

teachers working together will have adjoining classrooms at the new Cypress Creek Middle-High School. They decided to work together on QR (quick response) codes that can be read by smartphones. These small black-and-white images are common now in industry and consumer goods, and the codes take people to webpages with more detailed information on any given subject. In education, some teachers have used them to add lesson examples, extra practice questions, or other content to student materials to better engage with the lesson (without piling on more paper).

Sauerwein and Dunmire, a recent graduate, crafted ways to use the codes in reading assignments. Their goal is to encourage students to further develop their reading and comprehension skills this year as they encounter long stories, perhaps with more characters and complex themes. 

Boot camp

The Education Department has programs still upcoming for newer teachers, as well. Boot camps are free programs that cover topics that are important to beginners, such as classroom management, employee matters, and more (photo from 2016 camp). 

Teacher boot camp boot filled with markers

Teachers who live and work in Ocala, FL, now have a chance to attend this practical program in their local area. The faculty at the Saint Leo University Ocala Education Center have put together a two-day Free Boot Camp for Educators scheduled on July 27 and July 28. Visit the Facebook page of the Saint Leo University Ocala Education Center or contact faculty member Tammy Quick at