Regional Higher Education hosts the Early Childhood and Primary Education Festival for five campuses.

Ohio University Regional Campus Early Childhood and Elementary Education high school students attended the Patten College Festival of Education on Friday, September 23rd in Lancaster, OHIO. Education students from five regional campus locations participated in team-building activities designed to build relationships and foster greater participation in future virtual courses.

“The purpose of the event was to gather all the new education professionals between the common campuses and to get to know each other under the vision of one OHIO in a fun and playful event,” said Associate Professor Debra Dunning. “The concept is that play is often lost in online virtual classrooms, and we want them to experience the joy of playing and learning. We hope this community building will carry over to the virtual classroom and we’ll see more faces and engagement in our classrooms.”

Early childhood and primary education students
Regional Lancaster Campus’s Early Childhood and Early Childhood Education program hosts ECEE major community building programs throughout the regional system. They hoped to build relationships and a sense of identity that would facilitate greater student participation in shared distance courses. The event included team building activities, dean’s message and games. Rich-Joseph Fakun / Ohio University

All students enrolled as teacher candidates are accepted into early childhood and elementary education. As these students progress through the program, they will have additional virtual courses shared between the five campuses and faculty.

The Patton College Education Festival provides an opportunity for new teachers in early childhood and elementary education to connect with each other on each campus and outside of the classroom, said O.O.O. said Hannah Neeson, dean of campus and community relations. Zanesville

“We are committed to supporting students as they continue through their academic programs, and experiences like EdFest help build a sense of ownership and create a climate for success,” Neeson said.

Students were divided into groups and asked to choose a group name, create group cheer and design a group poster. Teams then participated in scavenger hunts and interactive games.

Lexi Piatt, an OHIO Eastern early childhood and elementary education student, said her favorite activity was working in her group with four other students from other campuses to design a team poster with their team name on it.

“It was an overall great experience meeting other elementary school students and sharing our experiences so far in our program,” Piatt said.

Early childhood and primary education students
Regional Lancaster Campus’s Early Childhood and Early Childhood Education program hosts ECEE major community building programs throughout the regional system. They hoped to build relationships and a sense of identity that would facilitate greater student participation in shared distance courses. The event included team building activities, dean’s message and games. Rich-Joseph Fakun / Ohio University

Patton College’s Early Childhood and Early Childhood Program Regional Faculty plans to host this event each year and this group of students will continue to build on the connections made during the event as they move into their internships next semester. Qualitative data was also collected at the event to determine how to achieve greater engagement and participation in the virtual classroom.

“I greatly appreciate the efforts of our faculty to create a space for our early childhood education candidates to connect,” said Sarah Helfrich, interim dean of the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education. “The event on the Lancaster campus helped build community and show our students that they have a strong support system, both with their faculty and with each other. It was great to see students socializing, making new friends, and having a little fun.”

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