A consultant on high-tech teaching will be in Iowa next week, talking to educators and administrators about advances in teaching systems for the modern classroom. John Kuglin, a retired dean at the University of Montana, says it can be a challenge for teachers to keep up with all of the latest electronic tools.

“There’s a number of things happening out there that educators need to know about and it isn’t just a matter of money,” Kuglin says. “It’s more a matter of knowledge and understanding of the capabilities of the Internet and how ‘cloud computing’ can be used effectively in Iowa classrooms.” One highlight of his presentation is the demonstration of a new software system for educators.

“It uses web-based content and it puts it into an educational context for the teachers to use,” he says. “Teachers are going to be very interested in how we can start harnessing the power of web content and put it into the legitimacy of a lesson plan so children can access that information whether they’re at home or at school.”

On Monday, Kuglin will be meeting with educators from five school districts in central Iowa — Webster City, Stratford, Northeast Hamilton, South Hamilton and Eagle Grove. On Tuesday, he’ll be in Des Moines to address a meeting of the School Administrators of Iowa about the positive impact cell phones could have in the classroom.

Kuglin says, “I’m going to be delivering a message to them that this is a changing environment in which students should be encouraged to bring in their electronic devices and should be a legitimate part of their educational process and not necessarily banned from schools.” He says schools can’t provide all of the technology students need so it makes sense to let them bring in what they’re already using — within set guidelines.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City