UNK’s Tech Edge Conference focuses on technology in the classroom

KEARNEY – Educators from across the region are invited to an upcoming conference focusing on ways to use technology to support student learning and engagement.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s annual Tech Edge Spring Conference – “Innovation, Technology and Computer Science in Education” – is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in the College of Education building on campus. A dozen speakers will cover various technology- and instruction-related topics, including data analytics, health science education, designing content for online learning, using simulations and gaming in the classroom and integrating computational thinking into school curriculum.

This year’s keynote speaker is Michelle Friend, an assistant professor in the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Teacher Education. Her presentation – “Step away from the ‘Star Trek’ poster and other advice from education research” – will walk through “a day in the classroom” while showing educators how high-quality research can be used to support student learning and engagement.

The conference, which includes breakfast and lunch, is an excellent professional development opportunity for educators at all levels who are interested in utilizing educational technology.

The event is free to attend, but participants must register at unk.edu/techedge/registration. Registration deadline is Feb. 3.

For detailed descriptions of all presentations, visit unk.edu/techedge.

Conference sponsors are UNK’s College of Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Technology Education in Digital and Global Environments, Google and Code.org.


7:30-8:30 a.m.

  • Registration and continental breakfast

8:30-8:45 a.m.

  • Welcome address by UNK College of Education interim Dean Grace Mims

8:45-9:45 a.m.

  • “Step away from the ‘Star Trek’ poster and other advice from education research,” keynote speaker Michelle Friend, assistant professor, UNO Department of Teacher Education

10-10:45 a.m.

  • “Broadcast your school events for free,” Mike Peterson, business and technology teacher, O’Neill High School
  • “Designing content for online learning with accessibility in mind,” Olimpia Leite-Trambly, instructional designer, UNK eCampus
  • “Simulations for all sciences,” Thane Lewis, high school science teacher, Anselmo-Merna Public Schools

11-11:45 a.m.

  • “Using Micro:Bits to gather data for Excel analysis,” Nichole Niebur, business teacher, Burke High School
  • “Using small devices in big ways,” Matt Miller, assistant professor, UNK Department of Cyber Systems
  • “Gaming using Bloxels in the classroom,” Kylie Hollatz, K-12 teacher, Leigh Community Schools

Noon-12:45 p.m.

  • “Health science for all,” Peggy Moore, director of e-learning, and Crista Goehring, curriculum and education specialist, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • “Best practices for teaching computer science in K-12 settings,” Sourabh Chakraborty, computer engineering major, UNL
  • “Read it, write it, talk it: Reading to learn in science and computer science,” Michelle Friend, assistant professor, UNO Department of Teacher Education

12:45-1:30 p.m.

  • Lunch

1:45-2:30 p.m.

  • “Integrating computational thinking across the curriculum,” Sherri Harms, professor, UNK Department of Cyber Systems
  • “Code.org professional learning programs 2020-21,” Koichi Sato, regional partner coordinator, Code.org
  • “Efficient + effective: Streamlining MTSS forms and processes,” Ben Kreifels, creator, InterventionWorks