Original Story at iBi.com
Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) is a statewide 503(c) nonprofit organization dedicated to leadership in education through technology. Formed in 1986 by a group of 30 educators, ICE has grown to more than 12,000 members, including teachers, technology coordinators, library media specialists, administrators, higher education representatives, school support staff and other stakeholders in Illinois education. It’s the state affiliate of the International Society of Technology Educators—a passionate community that believes in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, accelerate innovation, and solve tough problems in education.
With 13 chapters located across Illinois, ICE provides professional development opportunities to local educators. In the Peoria area, the ICE-HOI chapter has partnered with the University of Illinois Extension office to provide content and professional development hours to educators focused on STEM-related activities. ICE recently partnered with Wonder Workshop—creator of the popular Dash, Dot and Cue robots used in over 15,000 elementary and middle schools in the U.S. This partnership includes the Teach Wonder initiative, which is designed to give educators the knowledge and skills needed to bring state-of-the-art coding and robotics experiences into the classroom.
ICE is also the official Illinois “Makey Makey” training partner, offering workshops in which participants learn about invention literacy, making and design thinking using the award-winning Makey Makey invention kit. Makey Makey turns everyday objects into touchpads and combines them with the internet, allowing students to make any conductive material act as an input device for a computer. Because it comes pre-programmed, students with no coding experience can use it and learn to experiment with it as they start to learn coding.
In addition to scholarships, mini-grants and awards to recognize outstanding educators, ICE hosts an annual conference centered on the use of technology in education as well as TECH 20XX, in which hundreds of students from throughout the state come to Springfield to demonstrate classroom technologies for lawmakers, business leaders, teachers and administrators.