Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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December 4, 2013

K20 Center hosts learning institute

NORMAN — Teachers, principals, administrative staff and community leaders from schools across the state came together to learn and share ideas to “Be The Difference.”

The University of Oklahoma’s K20 Center for Educational & Community Renewal hosted more than 700 Oklahoma educators Tuesday at its 17th annual Innovative Learning Institute.

Leslie Williams, K20 Center director, said the K20 Center and Innovative Learning Institute participants want every student to thrive in a knowledge-based society and that the conference’s theme, “Be The Difference,” aligned with the K20 Center’s goal of cultivating a collaborative network engaged in research and innovation.

“Today we come together to share best practices, learn about research and to challenge each other,” Williams said.

The keynote address was given by Wes Moore, a youth advocate and author. Moore’s book “The Other Wes Moore” landed on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

Moore is committed to helping parents, teachers, mentors and advocates better serve our youth. Teachers and principals had only praise for Moore and said his talk was engaging and that he inspired them.

After the keynote, Innovative Learning Institute attendees had the opportunity to attend more than 60 breakout sessions throughout the afternoon. Sessions covered a variety of topics, including boosting science scores, integrating media products like iPads into classroom assignments, differentiation and embedding math literacy into elementary classrooms.

Honesti Williams, Salina High School principal, said the most influential session she attended was “Hubbard TV: A New Spin on Announcements,” which demonstrated how one school created a studio for daily announcements from a web-browser.

“We just started a broadcast class. We’re fired up now,” she said.

Teresa Askin and Deborah Templeman, who teach at Pleasant Grove Elementary in Shawnee, said they learned the most from social studies and differentiation sessions.

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