Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation offers summit on ‘Learning in the 21st Century’ at Fortify 2017 conference for K-12, higher ed teachers and leaders

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Lipscomb University’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation presents its 2017 Fortify Conference Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year's conference examines the theme “Learning in the 21st Century,” and topics are relevant to current-service, pre-service and higher education teachers and leaders. 

Derek Voiles, a seventh grade teacher in Hamblen County Schools and the 2016-17 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, is the featured morning keynote speaker. He will address the topic of “Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders.” Voiles has taught middle school English/language arts for seven years and has widely shared his teaching practices and his love of teaching through blog posts and Twitter messages. He will share his perspective on 21st century teaching and learning and will encourage participants to reflect on the importance of inspiring life-long learners. 

The Fortify conference is a unique opportunity for collaboration among K-12 and higher education professionals in Tennessee and beyond. This annual event combines expertise, experience and knowledge from both arenas of education; strengthening the practices of both. Fortify seeks to build bridges between K-12 and higher education in order to benefit both entities.

The vision for Fortify is to be a highly anticipated event that brings together K-12 and higher education faculty for authentic collaboration focused on topics relevant to both groups, including state or federal policy changes. It is student-focused, practical in nature and innovative in its offerings. The conference is driven by choice of participants and provides not only networking opportunities, but also reflection time and research sharing.

A highlight of the conference will be a lunchtime presentation on partnership strategies. Faculty from the University of Tennessee at Martin will share best practices with its Summer Institutes program in partnership with local K-12 schools in West Tennessee. Faculty and administrators from Lipscomb University’s College of Education and from Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Croft Middle School will share the story of their collaboration on the Pencil Partner Program.

Session speakers include K-12 and university faculty and administrators. Topics covered during the conference align with four focus areas:

  • Collaboration. The 21st century learning skill of collaboration involves the ability to work effectively and respectfully with others to accomplish a shared goal while upholding mutual accountability and equal contributions. Six sessions are offered in this focus area.
  • Communication. The 21st century learning skill of communication involves expressing thoughts and receiving messages, through the use of various media, while adapting to one's environment to effectively convey meaning. Three sessions are offered in this focus area.
  • Creativity. The 21st century learning skill of creativity involves using a wide range of brainstorming techniques, developing new and worthwhile ideas, and evaluating possibilities in order to improve and maximize creative efforts. Four sessions are offered in this focus area.
  • Critical Thinking. The 21st century learning skill of critical thinking involves reasoning effectively, using systems thinking, making decisions, evaluating information, and solving problems. Four sessions are offered in this focus area.

Registration remains open, and is $125 for professional educators and $25 for education students. Lunch and snacks are included. To register, click here

For a complete schedule, session details and more information about the Fortify Conference 2017, click here