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Literacy Playground: Innovative Literacy and STEM Learning

Explore and create

Explore and create : Playground

Sunday, June 23, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: Playground A, Level 2, Grand Hall

Keri Baughman   Amy Brown   Jules Csillag   Kelsey Derringer   Heather Esposito   Mark Gura   Dr. Michele Haiken   Kelly Healey   Dr. Troy Hicks   Melinda Kolk   Allison K Kreiss   Brandee Ramirez   Sage Salvo   Tracey Wong   Yigit Yigiter  
What's new, exciting and inspiring in literacy instruction? Members of the ISTE Literacy PLN and invited guests will present emerging technology-based resources and practices with high potential to improve and transform learning and teaching. You'll leave with ideas, insights and resources that will impact your classroom and practice.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Creativity and productivity tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Excellence in Professional Practice
  • Stay abreast of educational research and emerging trends regarding effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new technologies for their potential to improve student learning.
For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This Playground will allow participants to get hands-on experience with Literacy strategies and Literacy Based Apps for Education to allow participants to increase literacy learning and understanding across content areas. Hands on stations as well as short presentations will be offered throughout the playground for participants to take away ideas about technology rich tools and strategies to support literacy learning (reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking) and creativity (STEAM & STEM).


Participants walk around at their own pace attending presentations, talk and learn sessions, and demonstrations of literacy based technology tools. Teachers and students are encouraged to participate and showcase literacy projects that highlight digital literacy, citizenship, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
An approximately even amount of time for each component will be explored throughout the duration of the playground.
Participants will be engaged through hands-on exploration tables as well as short presentations.

Participants will have the opportunity to:
- Engage in relevant face-to-face collaborative conversations about the use of digital literacy and tools to provide relevant professional development that impacts classroom instruction in positive ways
- Enhance literacy toolkits with digital tools that create diverse artifacts and perspectives
- Use collaborative protocols for active, engaging, conversations that promote meaning making and the synthesis of content rather than the consumption of information

Supporting research

As technology continues to expand the ways students and teachers engage in literacy, teachers need to embrace the role of digital media in the classroom to foster a culture of creativity and innovation. Societal shifts increasing the demand for writing (Tom Newkirk) and the advancement of technology necessitate the modeling of effective strategies and digital tools for collaborative student learning and digital responsibility. There are dozens of tech tools that help young people build literacy skills and simultaneously allow students to become writers, poets, and digitally literate meaning makers. Literacy 2.0 brings to the forefront digital tech tools that enhance learning and literacy in the digital age where students are content creators and critical thinkers.

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Keri Baughman, Age of Learning

Keri Baughman is a curriculum content specialist at Age of Learning, Inc. and specializes in content alignment, creating playlists and collections for teachers to use in the classroom, and supports implementations worldwide for enterprise partners and through Bring Learning to All.

Amy Brown, Nearpod
Kelsey Derringer, BirdBrain Technologies
Heather Esposito, Cherry Hill School District

Heather Esposito has been teaching English in inclusive high school English classes for 19 years. She is a certified reading specialist, English teacher, technology mentor, Google Certified Educator, and Russ Quaglia Student Voice Aspirations PLC Coordinator in the Cherry Hill New Jersey School District. She conducts workshops on Screencasting for Blended Learning, Google Apps for Education, and Digital Content Area Literacy.

Mark Gura, EdTech Digest
Dr. Michele Haiken, Rye Middle School/Manhattanville College
Kelly Healey, Kelly Wilde Healey

Kelly Healey is an Education Consultant & Partnership Manager assisting in the process of modernizing education, increasing student achievement and moving schools forward. Throughout her career, Kelly served as a K-12 classroom teacher, Dean of Students, K12 ESL Specialist and operated in multiple capacities as an Education Consultant. She has worked with organizations such as WIDA, TESOL, The Dana Center, Measured Progress, WestEd, Literacy Design Collaborative, ASCD, KDSL, and Amplify. Kelly’s efforts have been featured by ASCD, eSchool News, The Data Quality Campaign, DistruptED TV, Education Week, and in the TESOL Classroom Practice Series.

Dr. Troy Hicks, Central Michigan University
Melinda Kolk, Tech4Learning, Inc

Allison Kreiss has been a Special Education English Teacher at the middle school and high school levels for 14 years. She is a technology enthusiast and a Google Certified Educator. Allison provides workshops on literacy, technology, co-teaching models and strategies and strengthening the relationship between faculty and administration in the Neptune Township School District in New Jersey. She has been a contributor and editor for DisruptED TV magazine and The Education Question. Allison is an aspiring administrator and continues to be active in her school and district to prepare for that transition.

Sage Salvo, Words Liive, Inc.
Tracey Wong, Blind Brook HS
Yigit Yigiter, TimeLooper, Inc.

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