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Samsung Celebrates Teachers With Professional Growth Meetups


The past three years served as an inflection point for educators across the nation. They were tasked with teaching students in remote learning environments and quickly adopting new teaching methods. We understand the incredible stress educators face every day—to recognize the incredible advancement that our educators have made and celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8-13), Samsung Electronics America launched the Urban Initiatives. This meeting series is tailored to help educators build professional development and glean new insights around the future of learning.

Held in Irvine, Calif., New York and Chicago, the Urban Initiatives provided educators from the surrounding metropolitan areas the opportunity to convene with their peers and learn new practices in classroom instruction from Samsung Education Coaches, all of whom are experts in curriculum development and instructional design. Participants also received a sneak peek of Samsung’s new Android OS-based Interactive Display to learn how the technology can be used in the classroom.

“Reflecting on the incredible efforts made by educators of all levels, Samsung is committed to shining a light on the importance of educator wellness and support,” said Dr. Micah Shippee, Director of Education Technology Consulting and Solutions at Samsung Electronics America. “Amid ongoing challenges with learning loss and education inequities, our teachers continue to go above and beyond to create safe and enriching learning environments for their students. As an educator who taught in K-12 classrooms for over 22 years, I am thrilled to lead our Urban Initiatives and create a safe space for teachers to be heard, feel supported and learn from their peers.”

California schools focus on critical problem-solving skills

The first event was held on March 21 in partnership with the Certification and Career Pathways Readiness Group (2CPR Group) at Samsung’s Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in Irvine, Calif. The event brought together high school Career Technical Education (CTE) instructors from Downey Unified School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District and ABC Unified School District to discuss tools and strategies to prepare their students for the challenges of the future.

Group of people at Samsung Irvine store

At Samsung’s Irvine EBC, high school instructors from across Southern California explored Samsung’s latest innovative products and engaged in hands-on developmental workshops.

Leveraging Samsung’s Interactive Displays, Education Coaches Dee Lanier and Rachel Swanson led two workshops focused on cultivating future-minded skills among students. The design-thinking workshop taught high-demand skills such as critical thinking, empathy and creativity. Through a series of hands-on activities using different apps on the Interactive Display, educators engaged in empathetic problem-solving and reflected on how their personal experiences in the classroom could inform new pedagogical practices.

The second workshop, “Solving Global Goals Using Solve in Time!” taught participants about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which is a list of 17 interconnected goals for ending poverty, improving health and education, reducing inequality and tackling climate change. The session employed a gamified design thinking activity using a deck of cards. This fast-paced session allowed participants to collaborate and explore potential solutions to various global challenges in small groups—creating a model for the type of interactive environment they can recreate in their own classrooms.

Angela Allison, Co-Founder of 2CPR Group, worked with Dr. Micah Shippee and Jenny Shull, Senior Key Account Manager of Education for Samsung, to coordinate the event. “Samsung’s commitment to providing industry-leading professional development for CTE teachers is commendable,” Allison said. “Their collaboration with us and the participating districts has created a powerful learning experience for educators, ultimately benefiting their students’ futures.”

New York City educators connect and share new classroom ideas at Samsung 837

Following the EBC workshops in Irvine, Samsung hosted an exciting event in partnership with the New York City Department of Education at Samsung’s flagship 837 store on April 20. Educators and administrators from the five boroughs convened in Manhattan to engage in thoughtful conversation about the current realities of classroom teaching and what the future holds.

The event featured breakout sessions led by Samsung Education Coaches and local New York City teachers. For instance, Luisa Escalera, a special education teacher from District 75 presented a computer science session that covered the importance of instructional technology and student engagement in special education. Other sessions discussed a variety of topics, including creative design, sketchnoting, promoting mindfulness, eSports and the use of Minecraft in teaching. Samsung Education Coaches Dee Lanier, Rachel Swanson, Monica Martinez and Anthony Alexandre provided thought leadership and product support.

Chris Mertens speaking on stage in front of crowd

Chris Mertens, Vice President of U.S. Sales, B2B Displays, for Samsung Electronics America welcomes New York City educators to an evening of learning at Samsung 837.

The event concluded with a guided tour of the highly immersive 837 store, which gave educators and administrators the opportunity to explore Samsung’s diverse range of products, including stunning displays used in schools around the world. Michele Gill Conte, Senior Manager, Samsung Electronics America, was on hand to help attendees learn about all of Samsung’s Education offerings. Samsung capped off the night with after-party drinks and festivities at the Standard Biergarten under the High Line.

Chicago teachers explore ways to bridge learning gaps in K-12 schools

Last week, Samsung invited local Chicago educators to the Fulton Market Kitchen where they received instructional guidance on ways to embrace new teaching practices and learned how to integrate display technology that boosts student engagement, increases knowledge retention and fosters classroom collaboration. Jim Kuziela, Senior Key Account Manager, Education, Samsung Electronics America, engaged with the educators and shared how their schools can access all of Samsung’s Education products and resources.

Samsung Education Coach Dee Lanier kicked off the event with the opening keynote based on his best-selling book, Demarginalizing Design: Elevating Equity for Real World Problem Solving. An award-winning presenter and TEDx speaker, Lanier emphasized the important role of educators in solving real-world problems like education inequity. He encouraged them to address these systemic issues through the lens of design thinking, a mindset and structured framework for identifying challenges, gathering information and generating potential solutions. The thought-provoking session urged educators to work with their students, school leaders and staff to co-design an equitable future where all can thrive. Education Coach Rachel Swanson also led a thought leadership panel and provided product support during the event.

Education Coach Dee Lanier delivers a keynote presentation for Chicago teachers based on his best-selling book “Demarginalizing Design: Elevating Equity for Real World Problem Solving.”

The Samsung team will be heading to Honolulu later this week to host another Urban Initiative on May 11. If interested in participating, contact your account manager to learn more about Samsung’s professional development offerings that will be unveiled throughout the year. In the meantime, stay up to date on the latest Samsung Education products and upcoming events near you by following @SamsungEDU.

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