COE Professional Development

2021 Sessions:

This summer, the College of Education is proud to present virtual professional development (PD) sessions to Arkansas teachers via Zoom. PD credit hours approved by DESE/ADE will be offered for each session. Please scroll through this page for session and presenter information.

These sessions are NO COST! Space is limited, but session recordings will be available at a later date. 

PD credit will not be awarded for those who cannot attend in person via ZOOM.  Recordings of the sessions might be available but viewing will not result in PD credit.  Modifications will be made for persons with disabilities.  Please contact Ashley Cooksey at acooksey@uca.edu prior to the workshop for accommodations.

If you have any questions, please contact us at coe@uca.edu. For technical issues, please contact the TLC at tlc@uca.edu or the Zoom Help Center.


“Pheeling” Great and Having “Phun” with “Phonemic Awareness”

June 1, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Tammy Benson
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/y5f0_iRVbWc

This session will focus on creative and fun ways to teach and practice phonemic awareness skills in kindergarten and first grade. A brief summary of the science of reading and its application in early childhood classrooms will be shared with teaching video examples.

Dr. Tammy R. Benson is a professor beginning her 30th year at the University of Central Arkansas.  She teaches child development, literacy and elementary education curriculum and strategies courses. Her research focuses on reading development, preschool education, and mentoring and coaching for effective teaching. She enjoys working with struggling readers and developing teachers.


Cultivating a Balanced Digital Diet

June 1, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Mrs. Jessica Herring-Watson
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/BjstRByPmk4

Learners have spent more time than ever working in digital spaces this past year. This session will describe the foundational elements of digital citizenship and digital fluency and explore how we can help our students balance their digital diet by creating and consuming digital content responsibly.

Jessica Herring-Watson is a Clinical Instructor in the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas. As a practitioner, Jessica works with K-20 teachers and students in a variety of settings as an instructional designer, teacher, and trainer. She earned a Masters in Teacher Leadership and Instructional Facilitation and is currently a doctoral student studying Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Memphis. With over a decade of teaching experience, Jessica focuses her work on cultivating meaningful relationships between technology-enabled learning and engaging pedagogy. As an emerging researcher, her interests include constructivist approaches to technology integration in the learning process, digital equity, and developing innovative practices in teacher preparation.

 


Language at the Speed of Sight Book Study

June 7, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Susan Perry

**This is a three part series. Session 1 is June 7th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Session 2 is June 17th from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Session 3 is June 28th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. You must attend the first session in order to attend subsequent sessions. Participants from session 1 will receive Zoom links, via email, for sessions 2 and 3**

This session will be the first in a series discussing the book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It. Study participants will meet three times in June with each session lasting approximately one hour. Participants will need to purchase their own copy of the book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It. Please read chapters 1-4 for the first session, chapters 5-8 for the second session, and chapters 9-12 for the final session. Come ready to participate and discuss your findings. Synopsis: Mark Seidenberg discusses the science of learning to read through the lenses of cognitive science, neurobiology, and linguistics. What can we learn about how we taught reading in the past? Based on the latest research, how should we be teaching reading in today’s schools?

Dr. Susan Perry is an Assistant Professor in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education department at the University of Central Arkansas.  Dr. Perry teaches both undergraduate and graduate literacy classes. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT), National Board Teacher, and is a former Reading Recovery Teacher Leader.  Her research interests include RtI, ADHD, teacher education, reading disorders, and college disability support.


From Teacher to School Counselor or School Librarian: Building a Roadmap

June 8, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Valerie Couture and Dr. Erin Shaw
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/I9ca9qPQnkQ

Are you a teacher who has always considered becoming a school counselor or a school librarian? During this session you will  learn the steps required to become a school counselor and a school librarian in Arkansas, while still maintaining your full-time teaching position. School counselors and school librarians who were prior teachers will be featured and they will share their experiences (the good and the bad) they had while balancing teaching and pursuing their graduate degrees in School Counseling and Library Media Information Technology.

Dr. Valerie Couture, Ph.D., LPC is the Program Coordinator for the M.S. in School Counseling program. In addition to coordinating, Dr. Couture uses her mental health background to teach school counseling intervention strategies, counseling theory, and individual and group counseling skills. Dr. Couture advises students from the time they are considering entering the program through program graduation.

Erin C. Shaw, EdD, is an assistant professor for the University of Central Arkansas- she is the program coordinator for the Library Media and Information Technologies program and the Instructional Technology program. She is a member of ISTE, AAIM, ALA/AASL, and the Arkansas Literacy Association. Dr. Shaw spent 24 years in K-12 schools as a science teacher and school librarian before joining the faculty at UCA in 2017. She is national board certified in school library media and is a coauthor of the book Online Teaching: Tools and Techniques to Achieve Success with Learners. Her research interests include online teaching, integration of technology, information and digital literacy and is an advocate for school libraries and ensuring equity and access for all learners.


Beyond COVID: Helping Teachers to Integrate Technology Now and Post-Pandemic

June 15, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Michael Mills and Mrs. Jessica Herring-Watson
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/mf5eVehljfg

Learn about the revisions made and lessons learned while using the ISTE Standards for Educators to redesign our Integrating Technology & Teaching course to ensure preservice and inservice teachers develop the skills to serve K-12 students in remote, blended and face-to-face learning environments in light of the pandemic.

Dr. Michael Mills, Associate Dean of the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, is a leading expert on the practical uses of mobile technology, particularly on ensuring educational equity and designing strategies for effectively integrating mobile devices in the classroom. He is a SXSWedu, ISTE, and SITE presenter and has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Education Trainer and has served on the advisory boards for SXSWedu and the Apple Distinguished Educator Program for the Americas. Feel free to follow him on Twitter (@MichaelSMills).

Jessica Herring-Watson is a Clinical Instructor in the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas. As a practitioner, Jessica works with K-20 teachers and students in a variety of settings as an instructional designer, teacher, and trainer. She earned a Masters in Teacher Leadership and Instructional Facilitation and is currently a doctoral student studying Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Memphis. With over a decade of teaching experience, Jessica focuses her work on cultivating meaningful relationships between technology-enabled learning and engaging pedagogy. As an emerging researcher, her interests include constructivist approaches to technology integration in the learning process, digital equity, and developing innovative practices in teacher preparation.


Tech Tools for Communication

June 15, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Ms. Shelle House
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/xX0OXZOt03g

This session will take a look at free webtools and software for enhancing synchronous and asynchronous communication. Featured webtools and software will enhance student engagement and help you create an inviting digital learning space that focuses on student’s social-emotional wellbeing.

Shelle House is currently a graduate student in UCA’s Online Teaching and Learning program.  She has taught technical theatre and fine art for eleven years in Central Arkansas high schools and online and is a teaching artist with Arkansas Arts Council for puppetry and technical theatre.  Shelle is passionate about facilitating meaningful communication between teachers and students through rich, innovative tech tools that allow the combination of multiple forms of media.

 


Interactive Book Club

June 22, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Jeff Whittingham, Dr. Erin Shaw, Dr. Kevin Powell, and Dr. Amy Thompson
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/6O3P8h78LP0

This session will involve faculty modeling an interactive virtual book club as they discuss four middle grade novels that are connected to the theme of ocean life.

Dr. Jeff Whittingham is a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and serves as the program coordinator of the Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership program. His research interests include literacy, technology, and book access issues.

Erin C. Shaw, EdD, is an assistant professor for the University of Central Arkansas- she is the program coordinator for the Library Media and Information Technologies program and the Instructional Technology program. She is a member of ISTE, AAIM, ALA/AASL, and the Arkansas Literacy Association. Dr. Shaw spent 24 years in K-12 schools as a science teacher and school librarian before joining the faculty at UCA in 2017. She is national board certified in school library media and is a coauthor of the book Online Teaching: Tools and Techniques to Achieve Success with Learners. Her research interests include online teaching, integration of technology, information and digital literacy and is an advocate for school libraries and ensuring equity and access for all learners.

Dr. Kevin Powell is an Assistant Professor of school library media at University of Central Arkansas. In his research, Dr. Powell examines student engagement in small group contexts and collaboration between school librarians and content area teachers in inquiry based instruction.

Dr. Amy Thompson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. She holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with cognates in Dyslexia and Assessment, a M.S.E. in Reading Education, and a B.S.E. in Elementary Education Grades 1-6. She teaches graduate level courses in literacy, assessment, evidence-based practices, and intervention. She is the author of numerous journal articles and has spoken at numerous national and international conferences.


 Digital Citizenship Daily: Promoting Digital Citizenship Throughout the Classroom

June 22, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Jason Trumble
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/KejysGx_hQw

This session will engage teachers in digital citizenship practices that move beyond personal protection into civic action. We want our learners to be engaged digital citizens who participate in democracy and we can do little things in our classes to encourage full citizenship for digital age learners. During this session, we will define and discover digital citizenship teachings that fit in the everyday curriculum.

Dr. Jason Trumble is an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Central Arkansas where he teaches preservice and in-service teachers to effectively integrate technology, content, and pedagogy. He is also the program coordinator for the UCA education specialist degree in digital age teaching and learning. Dr. Trumble’s research focuses on the intersection of teaching and technology as well as STEM learning, assessment practices, and emerging technologies.

 


Positive Classroom Design

June 29, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Stefanie Sorbet
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/BhIBNlWmqos

This session will incorporate the ingredients for a positive classroom design to include positive teacher language, social-emotional learning, morning meetings to build community, appropriate rules and procedures, reinforcing, reminding and redirecting language, and meaningful consequences for building students’ self-esteem and encouraging self-discipline and intrinsic motivation in K-6 grades.

Dr. Stefanie R. Sorbet is an assistant professor and the K-6 program coordinator within the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Department. She instructs elementary classroom management courses.  Her research interests include novice teacher mentoring and sustainability and the connection between social-emotional learning and a positive classroom design.

 


Technology, Leadership, & Planning Mini-Sessions

June 29, 2021: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Presented by: Ms. Ashley Cooksey
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/9bGa9f2OMyQ

These mini-sessions will feature 15-minute sessions from educators in our graduate programs. Presenters will share a snapshot of a tech tool, ed tech leadership strategy, or current issue concerning technology in education.


Parenting Styles Influence on Student Achievement

June 29, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Charlotte Green
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/fbPldbFOGMA

This session engages in strategic conversations regarding the association between parenting styles and student achievement. Based on our findings, how a parent interacts with their child has more significant influence on students’ achievement than their income and race. Our study provides useful data for schools and communities to reflect on current parental involvement programs’ effectiveness.

Charlotte R. Green, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in Leadership Studies at the University of Central Arkansas.  Dr. Green’s research interest includes: education equity, school readiness, adaptive leadership, community partnerships, achievement gaps, and disruptive innovation.

 


Ten Things I Wish I’d Known as a Reading Teacher

July 6, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Amy Thompson
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/3I12yrddcaE

This session will focus on changes in reading instruction as Arkansas has moved to the science of reading as well as lessons learned during the transition. 

Dr. Amy Thompson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. She holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with cognates in Dyslexia and Assessment, a M.S.E. in Reading Education, and a B.S.E. in Elementary Education Grades 1-6. She teaches graduate level courses in literacy, assessment, evidence-based practices, and intervention. She is the author of numerous journal articles and has spoken at numerous national and international conferences.

 


Overlooked Gems: Identifying Underrepresented and Promising Learners for High Achievement

July 6, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Alicia Cotabish
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/BdGY_iFQMCQ

Culturally diverse and low-income learners are often under-represented in high achievement programming (e.g. gifted education). Although these learners are equally as intelligent as their gifted peers, classroom teachers often miss the specific characteristics associated with culturally-diverse and low-income promising learners. This session will delve into the lesser known research on intelligence, the barriers (and gatekeepers) that prevent identifying and serving these overlooked gems, and offer suggestions and support documents that facilitate high achievement among vulnerable promising learners in the elementary grades.

 


Student Matters: Your Journey to Developing a Culturally Responsive Classroom

July 13, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott and Dr. Michael Mills
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/W7jAKfPQPc4

This session will lead participants through redefining their personal “why” for developing culturally responsive classrooms. Participants will leave with ideas for immediate implementation for the start of school in the fall. 

Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott has been the Dean for the College of Education at UCA for 6 years.  Her research and professional interests include assistive and mobile technology, reading instruction, assessment, and educational equity. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a DBIE Diversity trainer.

Dr. Michael Mills, Associate Dean of the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, is a leading expert on the practical uses of mobile technology, particularly on ensuring educational equity and designing strategies for effectively integrating mobile devices in the classroom. He is a SXSWedu, ISTE, and SITE presenter and has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Education Trainer and has served on the advisory boards for SXSWedu and the Apple Distinguished Educator Program for the Americas. Feel free to follow him on Twitter (@MichaelSMills).


Engaging Online Students

July 13, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Ann Broyles
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/_21s-0IQQnc

Designing engaging and effective online learning opportunities for students requires a different approach from lessons designed to be presented in a face-to-face classroom. Can online content be engaging in both synchronous and asynchronous activities? In this session, we will explore a variety of online technology tools that teachers can use to ‘hook” their learners. Participants will have the opportunity to create engaging lessons with these digital tools through guided practice that can be implemented in class right away

Ann Broyles is an EAST Facilitator for middle school students in central Arkansas as well as a graduate student in Instructional Technology at the University of Central Arkansas. She has served in K-12 education for 16 years in the areas of Language Arts and CTE. Her graduate school work focuses on instructional design and incorporating multimedia in teaching to increase student engagement.


Balancing Rigor and Flexibility During the Pandemic

July 20, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Shoudong Feng
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/UhtFARKbgu4

The presenter will discuss the subtle issue of balancing academic rigor and Flexibility in online classes during the pandemic. There are several areas that faculty who teach synchronous classes have to consider, e.g., attendance rules, quantity of work, and quality of work. The audience will be engaged in discussion on what should guide faculty’s decision-making in this tough time.

Shoudong Feng, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Elementary, Literacy and Special Education. He has taught various literacy courses in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. Dr. Feng’s research interests mainly include disciplinary literacy, multicultural literature, reading comprehension, and struggling readers.

 


SIM and A Strategy for Interpreting Visuals In Text

July 20, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Keith Lenz
Recordinghttps://youtu.be/uLtx-ZGJAo0

Research indicates that many students skip over the visuals images that appear textbooks formats and in text-heavy web pages. This session will provide: (a) an overview of evidence-based Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) learning strategies and teaching routines that can be used across the disciplines (Grades 4-12), and (b) then provide specific resources related to teaching the evidence-based The Interpreting Visuals Strategy. You can begin teaching this strategy this Fall! Many of SIM strategies are emphasized in both of the UCA Graduate and Undergraduate Special Education Programs.

Dr. Keith Lenz has over 45 years of experience in conceptualizing and developing innovative research, development, and training projects to improve instruction and outcomes for adolescents and adults with disabilities. He has been a major contributor and author in the development and validation of the Strategic Instruction ModelThe Learning Strategies Curriculum, and Content Enhancement Routines. Over the past twenty years, Dr. Lenz has been an early adopter and innovator in the area of technology to support students and teachers. He has developed and evaluated software to support planning for and teaching academically diverse learners, online courses, and the use of Open Education Resources in K-12 virtual instruction.


Open Education Resources: Integrating Assessment Information and Collaborative Conversations

July 27, 2021: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Keith Lenz, Ms. Tina McCord, and Ms. Robin Slunder
Zoom: https://uca-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUld-6tqzwsHteSdiz5s5JD59iVrgh3jgcf

Open Education Resources (OERs) are most effective when student assessment data are tied to a suggested and limited list of very targeted online resources that students can use to choose from. In addition, once students complete an OER, they should have an opportunity to rate their experience with the resource, provide feedback, and be able to build a stronger student-teacher academic relationship around positive learning. Results of research on the ZUNI Learning Tree online platform conducted over the past year will be shared along with future development plans. Participants will get a free subscription to the ZUNI Learning Tree subscription and will be taught how to use it to improve student learning this Fall!

Dr. Keith Lenz has over 45 years of experience in conceptualizing and developing innovative research, development, and training projects to improve instruction and outcomes for adolescents and adults with disabilities. He has been a major contributor and author in the development and validation of the Strategic Instruction ModelThe Learning Strategies Curriculum, and Content Enhancement Routines. Over the past twenty years, Dr. Lenz has been an early adopter and innovator in the area of technology to support students and teachers. He has developed and evaluated software to support planning for and teaching academically diverse learners, online courses, and the use of Open Education Resources in K-12 virtual instruction.

Tina McCord is the founder and CEO of ZUNI Learning Tree. She has 15 years of experience in business, holds certifications in K-12 general and special education, has an Med. in K-12 special education, taught intermediate and middle school special education and worked with HMH as a National trainer.

Robin Slunder has trained teachers on incorporating technology into the classrooms for the past two decades.  She is a certified Google Trainer, SMARTboard trainer, and Z-Space trainer. She has worked with ZUNI and trained teachers around the state.


Using the Labyrinth in the Classroom

July 27, 2021: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: Dr. Patty Kohler
Zoom: https://uca-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqdemqrTsrHtU-RqAFkZ-y03ZkIfls_ztz

In this session, an exploration of use of the labyrinth in the classroom at all levels will occur. A brief history of the labyrinth will be shared, and its use in a variety of education settings will be examined. Participants will be given resources for additional information.

Patty Kohler-Evans is a professor in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Department. Currently, she teaches graduate courses in special education to candidates seeking a deeper knowledge of working with students with disabilities. Dr. Kohler is also a Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator who seeks opportunities to introduce others to the ancient and timeless practice of centering through the labyrinth walk. In this session, use of the labyrinth will be explored as a classroom tool for students of all ages.

 


COE Graduate Programs: