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UVI Hosts Technology Camps for Teachers

The second of two technology camps for teachers will begin Monday in the Ralph Paiewonsky Library on the University of the Virgin Islands' St. Thomas campus. The first camp took place June 22, 23 and 24th. The second camp will take place August 10, 11 and 12th.

The Special Projects and Applied Research Center (SPARC), a collaborative effort of the University of the Virgin Islands and the V.I. Department of Education's St. Thomas- St. John District, is the sponsor of the camps. The camps, which instruct teachers in the use of technology as a tool for teaching and learning, are being paid for by Title V funding allocated to the V.I. Department of Education for teachers in the non-public schools.

In order to develop this collaborative initiative, Dr. Joane McKay, dean of UVI's Division of Education, visited all of the schools in the St. Thomas and St. John district, to find out what teachers need. Some teachers have never used technology. Others have experience with it, she said.

The camps instruct pre-school through 12th grade teachers in the use of digital cameras, I-touch, I-Pods, and laptop computers. Participants were selected to take part in the program.

McKay said a host of incentives including a $300 stipend, laptops, digital cameras and flash drives, are provided to participating teachers to assist them in their classrooms during the coming academic year. UVI's Division of Education will provide monthly support to make sure that teachers who participate will have the opportunity to use this new technology.

"We are excited to do it because our mission, our goal is to serve the children of the territory," Dr. McKay said. "In order to serve the children we have to first serve the teachers."

Among those who have given their time to make the technology camps a success are: Erik Heikkila, Suzanne Darrow, Dr. Suzy Harney; Peter Wholihan; Oliver Elcock, Steve Goode and Catalina Enrique-Johnson. Noted scholar and NCATE examiner Dr. Linda Quinn of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the author of "The Joy of Teaching," will provide instruction at the camp.

For information about the technology camps or the Special Projects and Applied Research Center at UVI, please contact Dr. Harney at 340-693-1308 or by e-mail at sgreen@uvi.edu .