4T Virtual Conference

4T Virtual Conference: Teachers Teaching Teachers about Teaching

The Quick Win funds will support the expanding of our professional virtual education conference: Teachers Teaching Teachers about Technology Virtual Conference (known as the 4T Virtual Conference). The 4T conference began in 2011; thus 2014 will be the fourth year of the conference. The 4T conference began at the grassroots level with an all-volunteer committee and a grassroots approach. In 2012 we piloted a small virtual teaching job fair as part of the conference. For four consecutive days each May, students in the School of Education’s Master of Arts with Elementary Certification program (ELMAC) will help to organize and present a virtual professional teaching and learning conference based around themes related to digital technologies in education. The students will choose to develop or moderate a live synchronous virtual presentation using one of four conference approaches: panel discussion, lecture, lightening session, or workshop. Additionally, via moderation of and/or attendance at virtual webinars, the U-M students will have opportunities to network with current K-12 teachers who are innovators in the field of education technology. All sessions in the conference will be captured, archived, and available on line after the conference has ended, so that MAC students, alumni, and educators in Michigan and worldwide will be able to access self-paced professional development.

A grassroots approach to date has concentrated on “getting the conference done.” Funding will allow faculty to move from merely doing a conference to evaluating its practices and impact. In 2014, we hope to continue to build the virtual job fair, extend the reach of the conference to more educators, deepen the development of student leaders, and do a deep data collection with research and analysis to determine the effectiveness of the virtual conference for K-12 teachers’ education technology professional development as well as alumni outreach.

Project Team:

Elizabeth Kolb, Clinical Assistant Professor, Education; Kristin Fontichiaro, Clinical Assistant Professor, Information; Jeffrey Stanzler, Lecturer 2, Education; Eileen Brussolo, Manager, Student Affairs Program, Education; Laura Roop, Dir. of Outreach, Education; Ronald Miller, Assistant Dir., Learning Tech., Education