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Innovation in Teacher Prep: How to Win Faculty and Influence Deans

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Listen and learn : Panel

Dr. Joshua Elliott  
Dr. Ray Francis  
Nick Pinder  
Dr. Traci Redish  
Carolyn Sykora  
Dr. Cynthia Vavasseur  

Faculty who advocate for pedagogical innovations with technology are often an island among their peers. We will explore strategies to win faculty colleagues and influence deans to build programs that prepare teachers for success in today’s classroom. The panelists will share how they used the ISTE Standards for curriculum innovations.

Audience: Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Innovation in higher education
Grade level: Community college/university
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to equip faculty with strategies for motivating peers and university leaders to support technology-infused, pedagogically innovative higher education programs. Panelists will address infrastructural challenges to innovation in academia and share lessons learned from their own journeys to revise outdated education curriculum.

Learner Outcomes:
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
-Identify potential challenges and solutions to successfully infusing technology into curriculum at the higher education level;
-Formulate their own strategies for bringing innovation to university curriculum and programs.


The session will primarily be a panel discussion and Q&A.

Supporting research

“New OECD Report Shows Major Gap in Preparing Teachers to Use Technology Effectively” https://www.iste.org/explore/press-releases/new-oecd-report-shows-major-gap-preparing-teachers-use-technology

“Digital equity starts with teachers-in-training” https://www.iste.org/explore/Education-leadership/Digital-equity-starts-with-teachers-in-training

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Dr. Joshua Elliott, Fairfield University
ISTE Certified Educator

Dr. Joshua Elliott is an Assistant Professor and Director of Educational Technology in the School of Education and Human Development at Fairfield University, and ISTE Certification provider. Dr. Elliott has spoken at national and regional conferences, and is an ISTE Certified Educator, Google Certified Educator, and Apple Teacher. He runs frequent professional development workshops structured to provide teachers with strategies for effective technology integration. Dr. Elliott’s research and teaching goal is to help teachers improve their ability to incorporate technology into their teaching for optimal student learning.

Dr. Ray Francis, Central Michigan University

Dr. Ray Francis is a tenured professor, and member of the graduate faculty, in the Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development (TEPD) at Central Michigan University (CMU). Dr. Francis currently teaches courses in evaluation and measurement, research methods, and research capstone seminars at the MA level, and serves as the Program Director for the MA in Learning Design & Technology. In addition, Dr. Francis teaches doctoral level courses in the Doctor of Educational Technology (DET) program, and currently serves as the Chair of the ATE Council of Unit Presidents, and the President of the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators. Dr. Francis’ current research interests include aspects of student motivation in blended and online learning, concept mapping, prior learning assessment, authentic assessment, #MessyData, and the use of global field experiences to build the professional knowledge base of undergraduate and graduate students. He is an ongoing advocate of Prior Learning Assessment process in higher education. In addition, Dr. Francis has served as a lead auditor with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Peer Review Corps of the Higher Learning Commission.

Nick Pinder, ISTE
Dr. Traci Redish, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Traci Redish serves as Director and Professor in the School of Instructional Technology & Innovation at Kennesaw State University (KSU). She is the co-author of an ISTE book titled, ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards (ISTE, 2009). She once co-chaired the program committee for the ISTE conference in Atlanta. Dr. Redish served on the ISTE Standards and Accreditation Committee to refresh the ISTE Coaching and Technology Director standards. The School she leads at KSU recently became an ISTE Certification Provider through the MED, EDS, and EDD degree programs.

Carolyn Sykora, ISTE

Carolyn Sykora, senior director of ISTE Standards programs, has more than 20 years of experience in education leadership and program management for nonprofits. She promotes the implementation of the ISTE Standards in K-12 and in teacher preparation programs. including through the development of the ISTE Certification for Educators. Carolyn specializes in project and program leadership for resources, products and services that serve school and district leaders, technology coaches, classroom teachers and higher education faculty.

Dr. Cynthia Vavasseur, Nicholls State University
ISTE Certified Educator

Cindy Vavasseur (Dr. V) is a Professor of Educational Technology and the Program Chair for Master of Educational Technology Leadership at Nicholls State University. Nicholls is an ISTE Certification Provider and the first University to gain this distinction on first submission. Dr. Vavasseur is also the 2021 ISTE Teacher Education Network Award winner for Excellence in Teacher Education.

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