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Conference Highlights

Conference overview video


The conference is sponsored by the Education programs at The College of St. Scholastica.

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7th Annual 21st Century Teaching and Learning Conference

Keynote: Dr. Roni Ellington, Ph.D

Roni Ellington headshotMoving Diversity and Inclusion from the Margins to the Center of STEM Classroom Practice: Transformative Strategies for Teaching Across Discipline

Trained as a mathematics educator, Dr. Roni Ellington has authored several scholarly articles on STEM education, parental involvement, and successfully navigating the STEM pipeline, particularly for minority students. Dr. Ellington is a leading expert on how to cultivate student's success in mathematics and STEM related disciplines. She is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and Coordinator of the Graduate Programs in Mathematics Education at Morgan State University.


8:00 a.m. 
Mitchell Auditorium
Check-in, registration and continental breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Mitchell Auditorium

Welcome: Dr. Jo Olsen, Dean, School of Education

Keynote: Dr. Roni Ellington
Moving Diversity and Inclusion from the Margins to the Center of STEM Classroom Practice: Transformative Strategies for Teaching Across Discipline

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Break-out Session (1) 

Classroom Innovation: It's Not Just About Technology
Tower Hall, Room 4119

Tammi Wilkins, ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools, Innovation Coordinator
Innovation and technology are often spoken about like peanut butter and jelly, two things that always go together. Innovation is more about mindset than devices. Take your technology integration to the innovation level.

Audience: Primary (K-6), Middle/High School, College School leaders

Using G-Suite for Education to create a blended learning environment
Tower Hall, Room 4105

Michael Pothast, ISD 700 Hermantown Community Schools, Technology Integration Specialist, CSS School of Education, Adjunct Professor
The G-Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) is a free set of tools for use in any classroom or learning environment. In this session, teachers will explore what a Blended Learning Environment looks like and how the G-Suite can work to create this.

Audience: Middle/High School

Save Time and Boost Learning: Leveraging Google Forms in Creative Ways
Tower Hall, Room 2412 (Teagle Lab)

Eric Mistry, CSS Instructional Technologist & Digital Media Specialist
This session will cover a variety of creative, innovative ways to use Google Forms. your laptop or smartphone to participate!

Audience: Middle/High School, College

Utilizing Technology to Support Diverse Learners in Your Classrooms
Tower Hall, Room 3410

Amy Murzyn, CSS School of Education, Assistant Professor, Special Education Curriculum Development
This session will include a short instructor-led discussion of accommodations, modifications, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). Bring your laptop or smartphone to participate!

Audience: Primary (K-6), Middle School, High School, Other

Language Learning and Literacy: Learning Models and English-Language Literacy Test Scores
Tower Hall, Room 2121

Morgan L. Keil, Minneapolis Public Schools, Elementary Teacher, CSS School of Education Alum
This session, based on a data project, looks at the differences between proficiency scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment - Series III (MCAIII) for two school models: dual immersion (DI), and traditional English-language instruction (EI).

Audience: English Learners

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Break-out Session (2)

Better Together: Increasing Student Engagement Through Collaboratively Planned Units, Lessons and Assessments
Tower Hall, Room 4119

George Dalbo, Mounds Park Academy, Social Studies Teacher
Middle and high school students are eager and equipped to take charge of their learning, but too often they have very little say in their education (both in terms of curriculum or pedagogy).

Audience: Middle School, High School

Leading Change at All Levels of the Organization
Tower Hall, Room 3410

Robert J. Hartl, CSS School of Business & Technology, Associate Professor, Director, MBA in Leadership and Change
This session will address how people at all levels of an organization can become more effect agents for change.

Audience: High School, College, School leaders

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for the Classroom
Tower Hall, Room 2121

Lori Thrun, Essentia Health - Amberwing, Family Resource Manager
Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills have been found effective in tolerating stress, increasing mindfulness, regulating emotion and communicating more effectively.

Audience: Primary (K-6), Middle/High School

Keynote Breakout
Tower Hall, Room 2607

Dr. Roni Ellington, Morgan State University, Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Mathematics Education

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. 
Lunch - Benedictine Commons (2nd floor Science Building)

1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Break-out Session (3)

Communicating About Standards-Based Grading with Stakeholders
Tower Hall, Room 4119

Linda Hughes, Proctor Schools, Secondary Science Teacher
Gina Cole, Proctor Schools, Reading Specialist
Jennifer Fuchs, Proctor Schools, Director, Curriculum & Instruction
This is a panel session with one district that has implemented standards-based grading.

Audience: Primary (K-6), Middle/High School

Using Primary Sources in American History to Counter Racism and Promote Empathy
Tower Hall, Room 4105

Patti Strukel, Blue Earth Area Schools, High School Social Studies Teacher
This session will provide teachers with some sample lessons that use primary sources to help students recognize dilemmas that the United States has experienced regarding race relations.

Audience: High School

Refugee Learners in the 21st Century Classroom
Tower Hall, Room 3410

Allegra Birdseye-Hannula, State of Minnesota, Program Administrator, CSS School of Education Alum
A growing portion of our k-12 population can identify as a learner with a refugee background. This presentation discusses research conducted to determine what practices are in place to engage and support learners with refugee backgrounds in Minnesota secondary classrooms (grades 6-12). 

Audience: Middle/High School

Computing Education
Tower Hall, Room 2412 (Teagle Lab)

Tom Gibbons, CSS School of Business & Technology, Professor
CS4All is a national initiative to empower a generation of students with the computer science skills needed to thrive in a digital economy.

Getting Lost in the Woods
Tower Hall, Room 2121

Brad Jensen, Hinckley-Finlayson Public Schools, Coordinator, Empowering Learning Center
Lisa Hodena, Hinckley-Finlayson Public Schools, German teacher
This presentation will focus on how Hinckley-Finlayson schools, in cooperation with the Audubon Center of the North, have utilized their school forest to integrate learning opportunities with the elementary, middle, high School, and alternative learning program.

Audience: Primary (K-6), Middle/High School

Creating Equitable STEM Classrooms
Tower Hall, Room 2607

Krysta Riel Maas, CSS Adjunct Instructor, CSS School of Sciences and School of Education Alum
We all know the importance of engaging all students in STEM education and providing authentic experiences for all students to make connections to careers in the Sciences. This session will provide ideas and resources to increase student engagement and investment in STEM lessons, experiences and classroom activities.

Audience: Middle/High School, College

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. 
Coffee, refreshments and drawing

Take Away Bash
Stay for a fun and interactive session that will end in a giveaway from the Master of Education program! You must be present to win.


  • Two, 50% off one School of Education Graduate Certificate
  • 10% voucher given to all attendees for the M.Ed. program.
  • Closing and giveaways, Mitchell Auditorium