EDINBURG – Hundreds of educators recently learned about using drone technology and other high-tech educational tools during the 8th Annual Innovate Conference at Vela High School.

The event, which was organized by the Technology Department from the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, attracted more than 1,300 teachers, librarians, paraprofessionals, administrators, staff members and parents.

“It was an awesome event. We are showcasing all the wonderful things happening in our classrooms across the entire district,” said ECISD Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services Dr. Eduardo Moreno.

The conference provided more than 80 sessions, which included trainings on Google Platform, Microsoft 365, Adobe Professional, drone technology, coding, digital storytelling, robotics, social media, cyber security, virtual reality gaming and incorporating blended learning programs in the classroom.

“We are kicking off Nearpod, which is a great blended learning software application, to try and increase student engagement to make sure that as educators are teaching, students are really learning and understanding the concepts,” Moreno said.

During the two-day conference, attendees received training on how to use the latest technology available to them from their fellow teachers and staff members, who are already skilled in using the technology programs at their campuses.

“Teachers are learning new strategies that they can take back to the classroom and implement those strategies in the classroom with those students,” ECISD Interim Superintendent Gilbert Garza Jr. said. “Teaching and learning go hand in hand. The more the teachers take back to the campus, the more they will take back to the students.”

More than 30 parents also participated in the conference’s Parental Engagement Academy and learned how to navigate the district’s website and how to integrate technology into their homes to educate their children.

“This is the third year that we ask parents to join our academy that allows them to learn about the latest technologies being used in the classroom that they can now implement into their homes,” said ECISD Parental Involvement Supervisor Sandra Rodriguez.