Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

Author: Patrice Scott

iCamp draws large crowd

It was a busy day for those attending iCamp.
It was a busy day for those attending iCamp.

Nearly 200 K-20 educators attended the second annual iCamp in Bluemont Hall, looking to expand the use of iPads in their classrooms.

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction, developed the innovative and engaging workshop. The experience took educators through an immersive experience to deepen their understanding of how students create, connect, share and collaborate with iPads.

Wesley Fryer was this year’s featured guest. He is an author, STEM elementary teacher, digital learning consultant, digital storyteller, and change agent.

iCamp registration now open

The second annual iCamp for educators is back by popular demand! Mark your calendars for Jan. 15.

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction, organized a high-energy, hands-on iCamp experience for educators wanting to innovate and to inspire students.

Registration is $45 and includes a box lunch. Space is limited to 200 so early registration is highly recommended.

Click for iCamp session details and registration.

Stories about first-generation college students available online

Eight first-generation college students share their stories.

The College of Education produced a documentary that struck a national chord with teachers and academic advisors who are encouraging students to attend college.

Five preservice teachers and three successful alumni share their journeys to college in “A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students.” The documentary premiered on campus on Nov. 4 to a capacity crowd as well as viewers who joined via live stream.

First Lady Michelle Obama watched the film’s trailer on Upworthy.com then blogged about her experiences as a first-generation student, which sparked more than 50,000 views.

Webpage containing each person’s story and an advice section is available so teachers, advisors and counselors can personalize the message for students.

Dean Debbie Mercer commissioned the project after learning more than one-third of the college’s undergraduate students were first-generation college students. Forty percent of K-State’s undergraduate students are first-generation college students, and 70 percent of K-State Salina undergraduate students are first generation.

Mentoring program celebrates 15 years of success

Linda P. Thurston

A highly successful program committed to faculty development is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The COE Mentoring Program began in 2000 with Linda P. Thurston, associate dean for research and Lydia E. Skeen professor, serving as director. Jan Wissman, associate dean emeritus, led the task force that piloted the program for more than a year before it was launched.

Since its inception, more than 84 faculty members have been mentored or served as mentors.

Thurston said mentorship is a driving force behind the college’s mission to develop knowledgeable, ethical, caring, decision-makers in a diverse and changing world as well as faculty recruitment and retention.

“This program has improved the culture in our college by building a growth-oriented environment that creates a regenerative cycle because today’s mentees are tomorrow’s mentors,” she said. “It has made a difference in people’s lives.”

PDS celebrates 25th anniversary

For 25 years, teachers and preservice teachers have improved their craft locally and nationally thanks to the creation of the College of Education’s Professional Development Schools, or PDS, partnerships.

The program started with three elementary schools in 1989 and has grown to one with 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, two high schools and two distant partner districts.

Gail Shroyer, professor of curriculum and instruction, and Sally Yahnke, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, developed the PDS model as a response to the call for reform in teacher education that originated with the 1983 publication of “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Report.”

In 1998, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE, Professional Development Schools (PDS) Standards Pilot Project, selected the K-State College of Education as one of 20 national PDS sites to participate in the first effort to develop national standards for the PDS program. As a result, these standards were adopted across Kansas and the nation.

In 1999, the department of curriculum and instruction received a $6.7 million grant — the second largest in college history — from the Department of Education after an intensely competitive application process for the PDS partnership project.

Morris Hill Elementary students support preservice teachers

The food donation is prepared for transport from Morris Hill Elementary School on Fort Riley to the food pantry in Bluemont Hall.

The relationship between Fort Riley and K-State has grown stronger thanks to crackers, Ramen noodles, oatmeal — and goodwill.

Students, teachers and staff members at Morris Hill Elementary School on Fort Riley recently donated items to the College of Education’s food pantry. Anna Haffner, clinical instructor and Morris Hill reading instructor, said the school’s community connections committee held a movie night, and the entrance fee was a food item donation.

“We work with K-State so closely with our preservice teachers, so why not use this an opportunity for a food drive,” Haffner explained. “We want people to feel like K-State is part of our family.”

Donations to the college’s food pantry are always welcome and can be arranged by contacting Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor, at tonnie@k-state.edu.

End-of-year gifts have many benefits

Marty Kramer

The end of the year is a great time to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the College of Education. Areas of support include student scholarships, technology, research and more. Contact Marty Kramer, director of development, and find out how you can take care of both of your families — your loved ones and your beloved K-State. Kramer can be reached at martyk@found.ksu.edu or by calling (785) 532-7578.

College earns national award from MCEC


Sandy Risberg, left, and Jane Fishback, far right, accept the award on behalf of the college.

The College of Education was presented with a LTG (Ret) H.G. “Pete” Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award™ for higher education by the Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC, at its 16th National Training Seminar in Washington, D.C., on July 30. Only three universities were recognized.

This award will be presented annually and encourages and applauds the outstanding partnerships formed between military installations and school districts that serve military children. Award winners are selected from schools and military installations around the world by MCEC, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the transition and educational issues affecting the highly mobile military child.

The college was recognized for its collaboration with Fort Riley, Geary County Schools USD 475, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, Riley County USD 378, and Chapman Unified School District 473.

Harvard learning technologies researcher coming to campus

Chris Dede

On Sept. 10, Chris Dede, a world-renowned Harvard researcher and leader in the field of learning technologies, will give three presentations as part of the College of Education’s Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series. Participants can attend in person or join in via Zoom videoconferencing. Due to interest, registration is required for those planning to come to campus. To sign up, visit registration.

At 9:30 a.m., Dede will present “From Research to Results – Envisioning the Future of Technology in Teaching and Learning” in Leadership Studies Building’s Town Hall.

Presentations in Room 119 Bluemont Hall:

  • At 1 p.m., Dede will present an interactive session, “P-12 Interactive Discussion – Digital Teaching Platforms Using Social Media, BYOD, 1:1, and Other Emerging Trends;”
  • At 2:30 p.m., Dede will present a second interactive session, “Higher Education/Training Interactive Discussion – Online Teaching and Training with Emerging Technologies/MOOCs/Immersive Environments, etc.”

Live videoconference for the lecture and both interactive sessions can be attended on Zoom with a maximum of 100 participants. The Zoom web link will be provided on Sept. 2, along with tutorials for using Zoom on PC or Mac at coe.ksu.edu/research/ed-research-lecture.html. Those wishing to use Zoom and needing additional help may contact the IT Helpdesk about using Zoom at http://www.k-state.edu/its/helpdesk/

For questions, please email Rosemary Talab, professor of curriculum and instruction, at talab@k-state.edu.

University celebrates ‘Day of Ecuador’

The Day of Ecuador was a special event on campus.

On Aug. 6, the university celebrated “Day of Ecuador,” and the College of Education played a key role in the reason for the event.

In 2012, K-State became the lead institution to train 3,000 Ecuadorian English as a second language teachers. The “Day of Ecuador” served as an amazing forum to learn more about Ecuador and why the nation is making heavy human capital and monetary investments in education.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, extended her sincere thanks to Nathalie Cely, Ecuadorian ambassador, and María del Pilar Troya, vice minister of Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología, or SENESCYT, for traveling to Manhattan for the celebration and for their presentations.

The event was sponsored by the Embassy of Ecuador, the K-State Office of the Provost, the K-State College of Education, the K-State Office of International Programs, and the K-State Global Campus.