• April 23, 2013 -

    Kaplan University’s Department of Educational Studies Faculty Member Dr. Lisa Wright Attends and Presents at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Annual Conference and Expo

    CPS - Lisa Wright News

    I attended the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Annual Conference and Expo April 3 through April 6, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. The keynote speaker was Amy Brenneman, who is an accomplished actress and advocate for children and families with disabilities. She delivered a very funny, inspiring discussion from a parent’s perspective on appreciating children with exceptionalities.

    The four days of this conference were filled with a wide variety of excellent learning opportunities. The first day session highlights included “Evidence-Based Teaching Practices for Autism: Which Ones are EB?” I found this presentation a very important topic and have contacted the speaker, Dr. Candace Baker, to inquire on possible research opportunities on this topic. Another highlight on Thursday was “Using Virtual Reality Simulations for Skill Development in Teacher Preparation Programs,” Which made me extremely excited to explore the possibility of using Second Life at Kaplan University. I have been in contact with the presenter, Dr. Melissa Hartley, who has graciously shared her start-up resources that she developed for the Teacher Certification program at West Virginia University.

    A panel discussion on Friday, “Embedding Evidence-Based Practices in Teacher Education Courses to Prepare Highly Qualified Teachers,” was thought provoking and provided a useful structure to use at Kaplan University to evaluate our use of evidence-based practices in our courses. My interest in assessment led me to attend “Improving Pre-service Teacher Development and School Outcomes Using CBM Targeted Field Experience.” With the legislative call for progress monitoring, this is an important assessment method that could be explored as Kaplan University begins to implement field experiences. I have contacted one of the presenters, Dr. Corey Pierce, for additional information on possible research opportunities.

    On Saturday, I presented “Using Social Stories with Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” and had 29 attendees in my interactive session. The attendees included early childhood teachers, special education teachers, and administrators. I added an interactive piece where participants used tablets, laptops, and smartphones to explore Social Story apps and interactive websites that were very well received. This activity sparked my interest in technology and Social Stories, and I plan to explore the literature and propose to present on this topic for the 2014 CEC Annual Conference and Expo.

    I also attended a very helpful session on Saturday, “CEC Aspiring Leaders.” During the session, I was able to make contact with potential professionals in leadership at the national level of CEC, and  plan to apply for a committee position this year. In addition, I learned strategies to begin possible leadership activities at the local and state level. This was a great opportunity for networking.

    I appreciate the opportunity to attend and present at CEC. This was an excellent opportunity to showcase the Department of Educational Studies at Kaplan University and to network and learn innovative ideas for the Department and School. 

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