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