WMU News

WMU joins educational technology coordinators for conference

April 14, 2004

KALAMAZOO---As Michigan schools face increased expectations and dwindling dollars, educational technology advocates must work harder to get their point across. That's the message of a Kalamazoo conference this month that will focus on technology as an important part of the learning process.

"Telling the Story: Communicating the Technology Vision to Educational Policymakers and Leaders" is the keynote topic for the 2004 Educational Technology Coordinators Conference. The April 23 gathering will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Texas Township campus.

Dan DeGrow, superintendent of the St. Clair County school district and former Michigan Senate Majority Leader, is one of the featured speakers. Scott Bryan, the technology director for the St. Clair schools, will join DeGrow in addressing the theme.

Participants will hear how they can help school boards members, community leaders and other stakeholders understand the relevance and importance of technology in education, says Ricki Chowning, a conference organizer and board member for the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning, the conference sponsor.

"The critical piece is making the best use of what we have, and we have to be even more careful about the choices we make and how we deploy technology," says Chowning, who is the assistant superintendent for technology and media for the Genesee County schools. "This is not so much about self-promotion as it is about getting everyone to have a common understanding of how technology can be used to best meet the needs of school districts."

Now in its seventh year, the conference draws K-12 technology coordinators and directors, principals, curriculum directors, media specialists and others for a variety of workshops and breakout sessions. In addition to MACUL sponsorship, this year's event is supported by Western Michigan University, the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency and other groups.

The $85 conference registration fee covers workshop materials, continental breakfast, a luncheon and parking. Those interested in participating can make reservations online at <www.macul.org> or call (269) 387-4174 for more information.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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