EDINBURG – Several Edinburg CISD parents recently participated in the first ever Parental Engagement Academy and learned to integrate technology into their homes during the 6th Annual Innovation Conference at Vela High School.

“I came to the conference, because it’s important for us to be updated on technology devices to be able to help our children with their homework,” said Sandra Meza, an ECISD parent.  “They are a bit advanced when it comes to technology and we can’t stay behind them.  There are things I didn’t know how to do and that’s why I came. So, I could learn.”

By attending the conference, Meza said that she learned how to get better acquainted with the program the District has in place to keep tabs on her children’s grades and their homework.

“When students take their studies home, they take homework where they are going to have to use their laptops, iPads, or some kind of technology device,” ECISD Superintendent Dr. René Gutiérrez said. “We're hoping that by participating in the program the parents will also be able to learn how to use technology devices."

ECISD parents were offered free classes on cyber security, computer 101, online educational resources and how to use technology as a teaching tool at home.

“We need to move up there with the kids and also to learn a little bit more on technology. They go home and we’re not able to help them, because we don’t understand a lot of the stuff they’re doing already in school,” said Sara Cedillo, an ECISD parent.  “I learned a lot on Skyward. You could actually check if they are in class on time and you could send emails.”

More than 1,400 people attended the two-day conference, which is typically open to teachers, librarians, paraprofessionals and administrators at the District.

“Edinburg CISD always has a technology conference prior to starting the school year, so that we can show our teachers and our staff all the changes in technology, and how we can incorporate technology in the classroom,” Gutiérrez said.

Those in attendance were able to select from more than 60 technology workshops daily, including sessions on digital storytelling, robotics, Google Apps, virtual reality with Google Cardboard, 3-D printing and how to use apps in the classroom.