Augmented and virtual realities will meet hiking and kayaking at Hiram College’s Tech and Trek Conference, June 20-22, presented in partnership with WVIZ/PBS ideastream. Geared for education administrators, teachers and technologists, the event will explore mindfulness in technology use, mobile technology, high-impact learning experiences, and teaching and learning innovations.
“There are very few opportunities for higher education and 6-12 folks to get together and share best practices,” says Matthew McKenna, Hiram College executive director of information technology, of the upcoming conference. McKenna adds that presenting a conference of this nature is a logical next-step for Hiram, which launched – in fall 2017 – the first Apple 1:1 mobile education program of its kind by a four-year Ohio college or university.
The conference has attracted nearly 80 registrants who will join for programs, hands-on activities, and discussions centered on everything from gaming and instructional design to guided yoga and running.
Keynote speakers include author and international leader in education technology Alan November, M.Ed., Kathleen “Ky” Heinlein, Ph.D., assistant professor of counseling at Cuyahoga Community College, and Lawrence A. Tomei, Ed.D., associate provost for academic affairs and professor of education at Robert Morris University. Respectively, they will deliver talks on critical thinking and web literacy, incorporating mindfulness in schools and lives, and the realities and myths of innovation.
Hiram President Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D., Jennifer McCreight, Ph.D., associate professor of education, Hiram student Megan Bockleman; and McKenna will present a panel discussion on the intersection of mobile and mindful technologies.
Rich with dozens of engaging discussions and practical and social activities that run from dawn past dusk, the conference aims to form a collaborative bridge for higher education and 6-12 educators and technologists and support their ongoing dialogue on mindful technology. The conference also aspires to encourage attendees to reflect on effective technology in learning abilities and to explore mobile technology’s possibilities in education outside traditional classrooms.
“Often, higher education can learn from K-12 and vice versa,” McKenna says.