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Know Your Meme—CITES Conferences Educate

Past, present, and future—The David O. McKay School of Education and its Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) are expanding their planning and sponsorship of quality educational conferences that prepare educators to teach today for schools of tomorrow. The most recent was the Instructional Leadership in the 21st Century Conference, where more than 1000 education leaders from across the country gathered to learn from education reform experts like Linda Darling-Hammond, George Batsche, and David Sousa.

The event also taught educators how to adapt their schools and classrooms in ways that better prepare students for the changing community. For example, participants explored how personal technologies are influencing the public and therefore learning, with New York Times consultant David Pogue. With Pogue as the guide, educators viewed internationally popular videos, called memes, that are creating common culture touchstones for their students.

After introducing educators to several memes, Pogue invited his audience to click on—where two new memes are posted each week. Giving educators reasons to care about memes, he listed the following points:

  • Because you won’t feel out of touch
  • Because middle school students will soon become the majority
  • Because you can’t exploit what you don’t know
  • Because you will become a super star to your students

Jim Brazel, a technology forecaster, presented on how the future is already here. Describing real world technologies and explaining their effects on the job market and classroom, Brazel also presented on the convergence of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and the arts. He titled the movement and his presentation about it, “21st Century Renaissance: The STEM and Arts (TEAMS) Integration.”

Research economist Pam Perlich, a favorite at prior Instructional Leadership conferences, presented her predictions for the changing face of Utah. Perlich anticipates that over the next several generations, Utah will undergo unprecedented demographic and culture changes, resulting in a diverse population. This population shift, Perlich predicts, will have a significant impact on all aspects of the state’s community and education.

Future Conferences

Currently, there are two additional conferences on the McKay School calendar, offering local and national educators cutting-edge educational data and ground-breaking solutions. The English Language Learners Symposium, scheduled for June 9-10 at the Wilkinson Student Center at BYU, will focus on assuring a promising future of through facilitating English Language Learner achievement in families, schools, and the community.

In April 2010, the McKay School’s Alumni Association, in conjunctions with CITES and the BYU-Public School Partnership, will present the Literacy Promise Conference. Opening Doors for the Adolescent Learner will be the theme of this conference. Presenters will include national authors and literacy experts..

9 May 2011