Carl Sandburg College: Sandburg Educational Network Blooms

Member Spotlight

Sandburg Educational Network (SEN) is a technology partnership between Carl Sandburg College and the K-12 schools located in Carl Sandburg College District 518. Historically, the partnership consisted primarily of an annual Cyber Camp hosted and facilitated by the college for K-12 teachers. In 2014, the camp’s 13th year, the format was changed to include administrators and feature presenters from the K-12 district. Most of the schools within the district were moving to one-on-one initiatives which became the focus of the event. Attendance nearly doubled, and attendees requested that similar workshops be held throughout the year.

The first SEN workshop was held October 30th, 2014. Over 40 district teachers, principals, administrators, and students came together for a free one-day event held on the college campus. In addition to technology focused workshops, breakout sessions were held according to area and title for collaboration and brainstorming. The spring workshop was held February 6th, 2015. Close to 60 area educators and students attended to learn about new technology and to collaborate. Both workshops were very well received.

There is no charge for to K-12 representatives to attend SEN workshops. Everyone donates their time for planning, preparation, and presenting. Carl Sandburg College provides the meeting space and lunch; district institutions cover the cost of subs in the classrooms. It has been requested that we do them even more frequently. At this point in time, the college is planning to continue with fall and spring workshop days and with the Cyber Camp in June. 

Cyber Camp 2015, held June 11-12, featured nationally recognized speaker Kathy Schrock as the keynote. The theme this year was Waves of Change/Oceans of Opportunity. Deep Dives—all day hands-on workshops—were offered in addition to Surface Swims, consisting of shorter technology demos and activities. Deep Dive participants dove into either Lego Robotics or Video Production. A drawing was held for each dive with one area school winning a Lego Robotic EV3 kit and another school winning a video production kit that included a green screen, iPad mini, and lapel mic. 

The Regional Office of Education Superintendent, Ms. Jodi Scott, attended both the fall and spring SEN workshops, as well as Cyber Camp this year. She has been so impressed with the collaboration between schools that she is working with Carl Sandburg College to form an Illinois Administrators’ Academy, which will run in conjunction with SEN workshops.

Carl Sandburg College is pleased and excited to work with local K-12 schools. We are truly learning from each other and the excitement generated on all sides (from administrators to teachers to college staff and faculty) is inspiring. Technology in education is changing at a rapid rate. Putting all of our resources together, districtwide, is allowing us to not only stay in the race, but to lead the race! Most importantly, relationships are blooming between schools and within schools that truly make this partnership a success.