Last week’s iChampion Summit proved to be bigger and better than last year’s with Stephenville ISD partnering with Tarleton State University welcoming 370 educators and more than 70 presenters for a fun learning experience.

“This partnership allows us to build our efforts within the PK-12 environment 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,” said SISD’s Director of Digital Learning Brianna Hodges. “As we continue to see shifts in learning and education, we know that these changes cannot occur in one place. Partnering with Tarleton creates a shared experience.”

And the event was a success with the increase of interest.

“This increase showed us that this event is both sustainable and scalable as we re-engaged with many of last year’s attendees while extending opportunities to neighboring districts,” Hodges said. “We were honored to have two amazing keynotes this year: George Couros, nationally recognized for his work in Innovation and Education Leadership, and Scott Burrows, who offered first-hand insight into the true power of perseverance.”

Some hot topics of the summit included authentic interactive learning experience, real-time feedback and video-based comments/grading.

“Media literacy, fake news and social media responsibilities were first-timers on the session lineup this year thanks, in part, to current social and worldly issues,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she is proud of the collaboration success that was beneficial for the community, students and the future.

“The greatest benefit iChampion Summit provides is the opportunity for truly engaged collaborative learning with practitioners from across the state and nation,” Hodges said. “The classroom experience is changing; there is no denying that. 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 and, ultimately, every student.”

Her favorite part of the summit was seeing SISD teachers present their experiences and expertise.

“Many pushed past their uncertainties and outside of their comfort-zone by sharing their genius with other educators,” Hodges said. “It's the ultimate pay-it-forward: seeing and celebrating teachers' impact inside and outside classroom walls. And let me tell you, we are blessed with amazing teachers in this district.”