With the help of our teachers and educators, Renton Prep aims to emphasize the importance of education for our students. Events like the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) provides us the perfect opportunity. Whether right in the classroom or out in the community, every moment should expose students to new steps that lead to growth and success. When it comes to executive director, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are extensive components of her expertise. Throughout her years of experience in education, she has dedicated herself to sharing her insights while involving her students. Again this year, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman was invited to the Future of Education Technology Conference. In addition to the workshops and sessions she presented, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman also participated in a conference coverage interview with the EduTechGuys. Here’s what she had to say!
What Brought Dr. Michelle Zimmerman?
2019 is the third year that Renton Prep Christian School has participated in the FETC. During her last visit, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman was a featured speaker for the information technology (IT) track, where she spoke about AI. She presented workshops along with design thinking, Disney, and STEM. Most importantly, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman brought many Renton Prep students from 1st through 10th grade to share the awesome experience.
“Our students have always been involved in educational events one way or another. And every year that Renton Prep has engaged in the FETC, more students have volunteered to present.”Dr. Michelle Zimmerman has been attending FETC since 2016.
Applying AI in the Classroom
In her teaching, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman implements many lessons and strategies that have a long term purpose for her students. Particularly, she focuses on preparing them for challenges that possess social, emotional, and ethical components.
“It is important for all students to be confident when figuring out the fundamentals of human-computer interaction. All in all, it is beneficial for students to obtain computational thinking to help them figure out inherent biases.”Teaching with a purpose.
What Role Did Students Play in Sessions?
During workshop presentations at the Future of Education Technology Conference, students discussed various ethical implications. For example, pop culture and how we perceive it. By using the tools that are supported by machine learning and AI, it became easier for students to focus on the content they presented while simultaneously developing human connection in the audience. Some examples of machine learning tools are Microsoft Sway or Aleks Mathematics for adaptive learning.
In What Ways Do These Conferences Change the Students?
“Along with every new opportunity to present and share their knowledge with audiences, Renton Prep students come back excited about trying new things.”The benefits of student participation at conferences.
Presenting at conferences offers students a change in perception and gives them confidence in that their voice has value and matters. They are comforted by the fact that there are educators that care about what they have to say.
Perception in Education
Throughout Dr. Michelle Zimmerman’s teaching career, her perception of AI has constantly been innovated. During the process of researching, she has been exposed to many different perspectives on what to focus on, and how to build on what currently exists. After her research, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman realized that machines are very good at repeating things quickly, but not at transferring learning from one domain to another.
“International events introduce the opportunity to connect perceptions of educators from all around the world. When it comes to teaching, it is helpful to learn all the angles of perception and how to connect them with the arts and value of humanity.”Perception is a potent thing, that is why we need to view things from different angles.
In her classroom, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman focuses a lot on perception. Specifically, the perception of students’ work, of technology, and of human connection. Overall, she focuses on the value of communicating ideas that help others to perceive.
At the FETC, Dr. Michelle Zimmerman also presented a session on Disney. Her interest arose when she started doing research on Disney’s Institute for Leadership and Business Excellence. As she learned more about it, she realized how much intentional design was involved. Looking at Epcot from a different perspective, she was able to see that there was a vision for having the value of many different cultures coming together to help produce a society of the future.
“It brings many different cultures together and shares the tradition of past and present.”Epcot’s vision.
The more Dr. Michelle Zimmerman investigates AI, the more she sees value in maintaining balance in human-computer interaction.
“As technology continues to expand, the vision and mission of Renton Prep Christian School needs to continue to advance with it. Without letting go of our core values, it’s important to iterate multiple dimensions of design.”Renton Prep’s mission and vision.
Renton Prep’s Learning Approach
Educators at Renton Prep Christian School take the time to thoroughly help students progress. Displaying opportunities to share what they have learned with different audiences brings us a step closer to our approach as a school. Moreover, we believe in the voice of our students as a key factor towards excellence. So, contact us today for more information.