Michael McGowan | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link


Michael McGowan

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Dr. Mike McGowan is currently a Technology Director and building administrator for Sunnybrook School District 171, a Pre-K to 8th grade district in Lansing, Illinois. He is also an executive board member for ICE (Illinois Computing Educators), the Illinois ISTE (International Society for Technology in Educators) affiliate. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Francis, a degree in Education with a focus on Teaching Computers and Business from Lewis University and a master's degree from Concordia University in School Administration. 

Mike started his career right out of college teaching Computer Basics classes at Joliet Junior College. He has taught everything from Pre-K up through high school. For the past 13 years he has been a Technology Director and administrator, helping school districts integrate technology into daily operations and curriculum for his schools. Mike is a firm believer that technology can be a vital enhancement to the learning experience so long as it is intended to supplement instruction rather than supplant it. 

Mike is also an international speaker on a variety of educational technology topics. He has spoken on topics including the use of interactive white boards in the classroom, free educational technology resources, use of coding to engage and enhance learning, more recently the design and construction of Makerspaces/STEM labs and the use of virtual reality in the classroom. Mike has had the privilege to speak at conferences all across Illinois and in Maryland, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as presenting in Canada and Germany. 

His true passion is making sure all students have access to available technology as they will likely have technology-related jobs. Engaging students to become proficient in computer-based skills now will better prepare them for those future careers. 

This course is designed to explore the essential elements needed for the acquisition of knowledge and competencies to promote 21st century learning skills. Participants in this course will learn about the need for collaboration, communication, and critical and creative thinking. The effective use of technology and media literacy will be investigated. This course prepares teachers by engaging them in thoughtful dialogue and activities that promote 21st century ideas and understanding of students’ diverse, digital, and global learning needs.