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Teaching in a Digital & Diverse Space conference set for June 1

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LAWRENCE — The School of Education at the University of Kansas will host the 11th annual Educational Strategies Summer Conference for the region’s PK-12 educators June 1. 

This year’s conference, “Teaching in a Digital & Diverse Space,” will focus on the needs for today’s PK-12 teachers, schools, districts and other education service providers. The full-day conference will begin at 8 a.m. in the Kansas Union. The event is free for area educators and open to the public, but online registration is required on or before May 28.

This year’s keynote speakers include Brad Neuenswander, deputy commissioner for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). His presentation, “Exploring the Educational Frontier,” will cover trends across the state and beyond. Following Neuenswander, Ron Brown, director of school safety for Topeka Public Schools, will present “School Safety in Today's School Environment.”

New this year, a series of eight short TED Talk-style presentations will be given by the 2018 Kansas Teachers of the year. The list of presenters:

  • Samantha Neill, "Controlling the Narrative: The Power of a Connected Educator;"
  • Jennifer Donovan, "Creating a Mindset for Learning;"
  • Jamie Manhart, "Making the Connection Between the Classroom & the Real World;"
  • Megan Nagel, "Everything I Needed to Know About Teaching I Have Learned From My Students;"
  • Angela Powers, "Creating Affirming Classrooms Across Kansas;"
  • Gilbert Still Jr., "Recognizing & Valuing Diversity in Your Classroom;"
  • Sarah VenJohn, "Leading the Change in Your School" 
  • Bradley Weaver, "Building Bridges Through Partnerships in the Classroom & Community."

In addition to the keynote presentations, there will be a variety of breakout sessions through the day.

“We are excited about the conference this year,” said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education. “The keynote speakers are addressing timely topics that will be of interest to all educators, and the participants will have the choice from among 30 afternoon sessions to help support and improve their practice.”

More than 300 people attended last year’s conference, which focused on “Teaching in a New Era,” with two keynote presenters: Patrick Briggs, AVID Texas state director; and Dennis Hodges, founder and CEO of Creatalyst.

Co-sponsors of the 2018 conference include KSDE and the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education. Other individuals or organizations interested in serving as a sponsor and/or hosting an exhibitor booth are encouraged to register online.

More information on the conference agenda and access to all types of registration is available online.  

The KU School of Education is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators as leaders.    


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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