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Murray State summit draws more than 2,000 educators for virtual keynote speeches, workshops

A total of 2,051 educators representing 159 school districts across 22 states — in addition to guests from six countries worldwide — attended Murray State’s virtualized “The Summit: A Teaching and Technology Conference.” Guests participated in online workshops and viewed streamed keynote speeches.

Through a partnership between Murray State’s Teacher Quality Institute and the Kentucky Academy of Technology of Education, “The Summit: A Teaching and Technology Conference” offered educators innovative and collaborative activities, seminars and workshops that introduced new ideas to the classroom. Participants were eligible to receive four hours of Professional Development or Effective Instructional Leadership Act credit each day.

Now in its eighth year, the annual summit placed a strong emphasis on technology’s role in education, mental health and new and innovative teaching methods. Keynote speakers included Cult of Pedagogy editor-in-chief Jennifer Gonzalez, educational consultant and author Larry Bell, “The Google Infused Classroom” author Holly Clark and Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman.

Typically held at the university’s Murray campus, this year’s event was virtualized as a proactive measure to protect the health of guests along with university faculty and staff.

“I wasn’t sure if it would have the same ‘oomph’ without being with people and feeding off of their energy. I was wrong,” said Tina Wiggins, a public speaking and debate teacher at Lone Oak Middle School in McCracken County. “Online chat provided a way to communicate and learn from each other, and it was actually nice to spread over three mornings rather than two long days. You can reach so many more teachers this way.”

“It has been so exciting to see the summit grow each year,” said Dr. Jennifer Earls, director of the Kentucky Academy of Technology Education and assistant professor in the Murray State College of Education and Human Services.

“When the constraints of COVID-19 presented themselves, we knew we had to figure out a way to hold the 2020 summit. The event is special because we strive to create a unique professional development opportunity with a Murray State flair, while offering high-quality development for teachers in our region. This year was even better due to the fact that the virtual summit gave us a way to open our doors to the world. We learned so much and will implement these experiences in future summits.”

From Murray State University

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