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Hatton W. Sumners Teacher Institute 2014


June 9-13, the seventh annual Hatton W. Sumners institute, Using Civics Technology in Our Classrooms, was held at Oklahoma City University.  The Intergenerational Computer Center provided the ideal setting for teachers to explore online civic resources and classroom tools.

Speakers provided a wide scope of topics during the week.  Heath Merchen, Associate General Counsel with the Oklahoma Education Association, warned educators of the pitfalls of electronic communication with students.  Kelly Curtright, Curriculum Director of Social Studies with the State Department of Education,  spoke about the current academic standards for social studies.  Curtright also serves as President of the Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies.  He encourages teachers to join, membership is FREE.  The first day concluded with Judy Smith, ICC Assistant Director of Training and Outcomes, demonstrating how to create a digital portfolio for the classroom.

Tuesday, the group welcomed Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School teachers Nancy Brewer (National Board Certified Teacher) and Katie Alsup who gave participants a tour of the iCivics website; engaging teachers to set up classrooms for their students, posting group assignments, reviewing 19 interactive games as well as searching topics for civic lesson plans.  The following day, Gennie Westbrook, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at the Bill of Rights Institute,  showcased the online resources available through the BRI including the new Documents of Freedom materials.

On Thursday, Technology Integration Consultant, Levi Valdois showed teachers innovative ways to use mobile devices and apps in the classroom.  Jason Harris, Education Director with the Oklahoma History Center, spoke about Oklahoma History Day Contest and the great opportunities for students and teachers.  The day ended with a tour of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum hosted by Lynne Porter, Education Director. The group listened to a first-hand account given by bombing survivor, Terri Talley, followed by a time for Q & A.

The week ended with Dr. Lois Lawler-Brown, OCU Education Department Chair, presenting Engaging Extension Activities for the Classroom.  LRE Coordinator, Jane McConnell, led the group through the OBA webpage highlighting Court Facts and the LRE pages.