Ignite unconference for teachers features Kecia Ray, national technology leader

By Janel Shoun-Smith on 8/31/2013

   
   
Ray, kecia
Kecia Ray

This Saturday, Lipscomb University College of Education’s will host its first technology “unconference” for local teachers. This free, fast-paced, informal conference will provide participants practical, classroom-ready technology integration skills. (Registration is now full.)

The unconference will offer a host of 20-minute sessions, each focused on using one new technology tool, and iIn the unconference tradition, a few session spots will be left open for spur-of-the-moment presenters. Topics expected to be discussed include iPad applications that promote 21st-century skills, Web 2.0 in the classroom, technology for ELL students and technology used to fulfill Common Core State Standards.

Kecia Ray, executive director of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ learning technology department and president of the International Society for Technology in Education board, will provide a keynote address during lunch. A “smackdown,” where participants each get two minutes to share a useful classroom technology tip with the entire audience, will wrap up the unconference.

Scheduled sessions will be taught by College of Education faculty and master’s students in Lipscomb’s M.Ed. in technology integration program. Presenters will provide skills and ideas aligned with Common Core State Standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers assessments to be implemented in local schools next year.

Ray is the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ first executive director of learning technology. She began her career as a middle school teacher and participated in the state’s first distance learning network.

During her career, she has served as an assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University conducting research on assessing technology literacy and was the director of technology research in the Office of Science Outreach at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Ray has participated in the development of national standards for engineering and technology as well as two national education technology plans. She is the author of three books and several papers on designing instruction and distance technologies. She has conducted research in the area of technology integration and distance learning across the United States, Canada and South Africa.

She has also served as an invited member of the North American Council for Online Learning Research Committee.

The Lipscomb University College of Education was recently named one of only four teacher preparation programs in the nation to earn a four-star rating from the National Council on Teacher Quality. For the last two years, Lipscomb has been cited by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as one of the best in the state at preparing new teachers. The college provides undergraduate, graduate, education specialist and doctorate programs including the M.Ed. in Technology Integration, a program teaching innovative approaches to technology that can be completed online in as little as four semesters.