Sonoma State University saw nearly 300 teachers register to attend workshops, tour campus and get hands-on experience in the University's new Makerspace as thousands of teachers gathered across California for the third annual Better Together California Teachers Summit July 28 to hear words of inspiration, share stories of tenacity and learn about innovative teaching tools and programs around a theme of "Now More Than Ever."
"When I think about the challenges we face as a nation and as a global community, teachers are the people who give me the most hope," Dr. Jill Biden told thousands of teachers gathered at 34 host sites across California for the Summit. The community college teacher and former second lady of the United States was the keynote speaker, appearing live at St. Mary's College and broadcast across the state.
At Sonoma State, Dean of the School of Education Carlos Ayala greeted the audience by encouraging tweeting about the conference and sharing the day's events on social media. After the keynote session, Sonoma State alum Jonna Weidaw gave an EdTalk titled "Together We Succeed: How Design Thinking Can Change Lives."
Teachers were able to use the University's brand new Makerspace in the Library to get hands-on experience and personalized demonstrations on everything from 3D printing to custom name embroidery. The new space even has a virtual reality station with programs including art design and immersive games.
Last fall, Sonoma State received a half-million dollar NSF grant to expand the existing Makerspace and design a General Education course for Making.
This marks the third year the CSU is partnering with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) and the New Teacher Center (NTC) to host the summit and bring together a growing network of educators to share strategies and lessons learned in the classroom.
The CSU is the largest producer of teachers in both the state and nation. As teachers prepare for the upcoming school year, this summit provides a unique opportunity to give them a forum to share cutting edge strategies and best practices led by teachers and for teachers. Teachers will gain concrete knowledge and have the opportunity to network with colleagues from their home region supporting continued collaboration.