Schools Empty for MEA-MFT Teachers Conference - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Schools Empty for MEA-MFT Teachers Conference

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MISSOULA -

A four-day weekend for Montana schoolchildren means the MEA-MFT Teachers Conference is in town.

Science, art, history, physical education, it's all being covered at this year's conference. Anaconda Middle School teacher Charmaine Everett said, "This kind of combination where everybody is here for the reason of improving their teaching, and in all areas, it's exciting because everybody's here for a different reason and the same reason."

Thousands of teachers traveled across Montana to hear about programs that could help strengthen their classroom. Aside from the basic courses, a review in responding to threats in schools and recognizing gifted students is covered as well.

MEA-MFT President, Eric Feaver, said, "Most of these sectionals are provided by teachers themselves, practitioners who have tried things in their classrooms, decided that they work, and want to bring them to the attention of other people. so its teachers teaching teachers."

One overriding topic throughout the conference was the use of technology in the classroom. Some parents have spoken out about how kids without easy access to the internet are at a massive disadvantage, while administrators emphasize the benefits of the technological world seeping into the textbook world. Feaver commented that, "The stuff you can get on the net doesn't go out of date the way textbooks do. And the crime of the century is to have a classroom instructed out of a history or a science book that's a century old or more!"

Educators say even for students without access to internet in their homes, libraries and public schools offer the ability for those students to get their work done. Plus, old school excuses for slacking students won't be an option.

"It might be a little bit humorous to say, but in the online situation where the textbook is contained in the course, there's no excuse like I left it in my car or I lost it, it's all right there,” Executive Director of Montana Digital Academy, Robert Currie, noted.

The conference had a crash course on creating lessons on iPads and other programs to launch us further into the digital world.

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