Concord University to host Global Collaboration and Diversity Sy - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Concord University to host Global Collaboration and Diversity Symposium


ATHENS, W.Va. – Teacher education students in Concord University’s EPAT (Educational Psychology, Assessment, and Technology) have collaborated this semester with their counterparts at Victoria University in Australia, exchanging information on school systems, types of diversity, teaching methodologies, large-scale assessments, and issues in education, among other topics.

The students will share their findings at the Global Collaboration and Diversity Symposium on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the Ballroom of the Jerry L. and Jean Beasley Student Center on the Athens campus. Poster presentations will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The interactive activities and art festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the event concluding at 11:30 a.m.

During the symposium, students will demonstrate diverse technologies (Skype, Google Docs, Voice Thread, Wikis, etc.), while underlining cultural awareness and acceptance.

EPAT is taught by Dr. Anita Reynolds, professor of education, and Dr. Terry Mullins, professor of education.  The Concord professors presented “A Model for Global Collaboration” highlighting the Australian Collaboration at the International Society for Technology in Education’s 2014 International Conference. ISTE, the world’s most comprehensive education technology conference, was attended by 16,039 individuals representing 67 nations. They will be co-presenting at the E-Learn 2015 International Conference in Kona, Hawaii with Dr. Greg Neal from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia in October 2015.

To enrich the global symposium, students from Bradley Elementary School will be visiting Concord University on the same day for a Global Diversity event. Concord’s EPAT students will share technology and school differences with the 5th graders, while conducting small group interactive lessons on history, geography, math, science, and diversity. The lessons will center on the Australian theme.

Concord’s EPAT students will be comparing and contrasting school systems and education topics for the United States and Australia gleaned from an extensive and in-depth collaboration with teacher education candidates at Victoria University in Melbourne.

Dr. Lauri Reidmiller, associate professor of art, and her education students will take the Bradley students on a safari, after which they will participate in an interactive art lesson related to Australian culture.

According to the EPAT professors, the event highlights the emphasis placed in the Teacher Education Program on collaboration, global awareness and networking, and utilizing 21st Century technology. The symposium is the capstone event for the students’ Australian collaboration, and also provides an opportunity to outreach to the public school students in Concord’s Professional Development Schools.

Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Mullins said that the overarching concept of the activities with the elementary students is that “no matter how different we may be, we are more alike than we are different.” Opportunities to model and promote acceptance among the young students will hopefully impact their tolerance of diversity throughout their lives, they said.

The symposium has been presented during the fall and spring semesters at Concord University for the past several years.

Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Mullins noted that attendees enjoy the poster presentations and discussing the collaboration with the teacher education students. They said it is often “eye-opening” for both students and educators to contemplate the differences in the public education system of another country. Also, the students share the diverse technologies utilized in the collaboration from a practical, hands-on perspective.

The activities designed by the EPAT students for the elementary school students are exciting to watch, the professors said, noting “it is refreshing to see young children excited about learning.”

The Concord University community and the general public are invited to attend the symposium. There is no admission charge. For additional information contact Dr. Anita Reynolds or 304-384-5292.

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