MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services will be holding its seventh annual summit for educators June 11-12. The two-day event offers free professional development to teachers, counselors, school administrators, superintendents, and educators of all kinds. Participants are eligible to receive six hours of PD or EILA credit each day.
Now titled The Summit: A Teaching and Technology Conference, the event will be slightly different than the College and Career Readiness Summit held in years past. Thanks to the combined efforts of Murray State’s Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) and Kentucky Academy of Technology Education (KATE), there will be a stronger emphasis on technology this year and its increased role in education. As always, attendees can expect a rich learning environment filled with collaboration and innovation among the region’s top educators.
“Technology is such a large part of the classroom now that it has also become part of education,” said Dr. Jennifer Earls, director of KATE. “The two will not separate. They will continue to go hand in hand moving forward.”
“Technology won’t ever replace the teacher,” added Kem Cothran, coordinator of TQI, “but it will enhance both the teacher and the classroom. Students are becoming more and more aware of what is available out there, and they know that they must have a firm understanding of technology to successfully navigate the world around them.”
Last year’s event saw more than 800 attendees, including six featured speakers and 95 peer presenters hailing from 46 different school districts. With registration for this year already exceeding the typical capacity, some modifications have had to be made to accommodate the increase of participants.
“In the past, we have had to close registration for day one of the summit based on the capacity of Alexander Hall. The building just can’t feasibly hold more than 700 participants, meaning that we usually have a waiting list of educators hoping to attend,” said Cothran. “It’s unfortunate to have to turn away such incredible teachers hoping to better themselves, their students, and the profession. Therefore, we have added a second venue for day one.”
On June 11, the Summit will begin in Lovett Auditorium, where participants will gather to hear a welcome message from the college and a keynote presentation by Kasey Bell. Bell is the author of “Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic,” co-host of The Google Teacher Tribe podcast, an award-winning blogger, and a social media influencer. In the afternoon of day one, everyone will break off to attend their choices of training sessions offered by regional educators, including Murray State faculty and staff. These sessions will be divided amongst Lovett Auditorium and Alexander Hall.
Other featured speakers for day one include Christine Pinto and Angie Judd. Pinto, a kindergarten teacher, is the founder of #GAfE4Littles, co-author of “Google Apps for Littles: Believe They Can,” and co-moderator of the #InnovatingPlay #SlowFlipChat. Judd is a licensed clinical social worker with Davis County Public Schools. She specializes in trauma-informed care, including how to recognize trauma in students, how to understand its effects on the individual and classroom performance, and how to proceed from there.
The Summit’s second day, June 12, will take place entirely in Lovett Auditorium with keynote presentations by Gerry Brooks and Matt Miller. Many educators will recognize Brooks from social media, as he has accumulated nearly one million subscribers on YouTube and Facebook. He is currently a principal and has served as a school administrator for 17 years. Miller is the author of “Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom” and was named a top ten influencer in educational technology and e-learning worldwide.
Although this year’s featured speakers have already been secured, there are still many positions available for presenters.
“We are always interested in presenters with new and innovative uses of technology, classroom management tips, instructional strategies, curriculum resources, ideas for building your professional learning network, and more,” said Cothran. “We are also looking to hear from those with a background in counseling, school trauma, and crisis management.”
“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your school and what is working best in your districts,” added Earls.
This Summit isn’t just for teachers, though. Whether you’re a bus driver, a cafeteria worker, an instructional assistant, a teacher, a counselor, a school psychologist, a principal, a superintendent, or another administrator, you play such an important role in the lives of students. This free professional development experience is invaluable for all of those involved.
“At several points during these sessions, you’ll be reminded of why you come to work everyday,” said Cothran.
To register as a participant or presenter, visit murraystate.edu/summit. Additional information, including keynote speaker bios, lodging discounts, and parking details, can be found on the site as well. Other questions may be directed to Murray State’s Teacher Quality Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-809-2090, or individuals may contact the Kentucky Academy of Technology Education at email@example.com or 270-809-5360.
Sponsors of the 2019 Summit include Murray State’s College of Education and Human Services, Teacher Quality Institute, Kentucky Academy of Technology Education, and Office of Development as well as the Kentucky Middle School Association.