Through a partnership of Stephenville ISD and Tarleton State University this year’s digital learning conference, the iChampion Summit, will be expanded to include more opportunities for educators.

The conference will be held from July 25-27 at the TSU campus.

Last year SISD hosted the event with more than 250 educators and 40 presenters.

“This year we have partnered with Tarleton State University to participate in a Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) Initiative Academy,” said SISD’s director of digital learning Brianna Hodges. “This allows us to build on the tremendous success of last year’s iChampion Summit and extend the learning to include pre-service teachers and higher ed faculty, which, in turn, allows us to see the overall impact of digital learning within education.”

This year’s iChampion Summit will feature more than 60 interactive workshops with guest speakers George Couros and Scott Burrows. Something new this year will be the Certified Google Educator Academy hosted by friEdTechnology on day three of the summit when educators can become Certified Google Level 1 or Level 2 Educators.

“The greatest benefit iChampion Summit provides is the opportunity for truly engaged collaboration with practitioners from across the state. The classroom experience is changing; there is no denying that,” Hodges said. “Access to colleagues who are facing similar challenges while approaching these opportunities with innovation develops a professional learning network connection that will continually impact and benefit every educator.”

Tarleton was awarded a national grant through the CORE i3 program.

“TSU is a regional partner working with Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL who is the originator of the national study,” said Tarleton assistant professor of curriculum and instruction Julie Ward. “I am extremely excited about the partnership opportunity with Stephenville ISD. Although we are in the same town, we are not always able to partner together, especially on this level.”

Hodges remains a big part of organizing the iChampion Summit and said she’s excited to see teachers become more confident with digital learning.

“We have teachers all along the spectrum of integration and experimentation, but each are evaluating opportunities for improving the learning experience for students,” Hodges said. “This takes a certain amount of courage and a hefty dose of creativity, but the payoff for our students has and continues to be so rewarding.”

Hodges added that the partnership with Tarleton this year has added to the summit creating a shared experience.

“As we continue to see shifts in learning and education, we know that these changes cannot occur in one place,” Hodges said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this collaboration and what an exemplary public and higher education partnership should provide for the community, for students and for our future.”

Proposals for digital learning practices are still being accepted and lead presenters of accepted proposals will receive free registration to the iChampion Summit.

For more information, to register or to submit a proposal visit www.tarleton.edu/ichampion.