This past week, Pennsylvania held a state-wide summit for its top innovators in education: the Keystones Technology Innovators Summit (KTI).
The term STARS stands for: State Technology Advocates Redefining Schools. Keystones STARS are advocates and influencers within their school districts when it comes to teaching and learning with technology. Many Keystones have become district administrators and key decision makers in educational technology planning. The week-long Summit was designed to enrich and invigorate the skills and competencies of those attendees.
Principals throughout the state nominated key members of their district, who then went through a competitive selection process. The top 100 nominations were selected for the five-day summit, which was held on the the campus of Shippensburg University. Our very own Mike Penn and Debbie Reynolds were both chosen among this elite group!
Upon arrival, Mike had to prove his identity to ensure he wasn’t one of the many con-artists, lookalikes, and spies attempting to infiltrate the summit. To do this, he passed through a rigorous series of tests on colors, shapes, and building blocks.
Mike’s tower wasn’t the sturdiest, and his evaluator began clicking her tongue as beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. Things were looking grim for Mike, but in a moment of brilliance he made a comment about improved airflow through the gaps in the tower, along with a quiet mumble about eco-friendliness, and Mike soon found himself being handed a bright yellow lanyard and shepherded into the ranks of the KTI, where Debbie was waiting for him. Debbie, of course, had no trouble passing through the initiation trials.
The KTI summit was packed from 7am until after 9pm all week long! Mike had this to say about the experience:
The summit has been a really great experience based on the four pillars of Develop, Lead, Connect and Advocate for the effective use of technology in our schools. It has been really gratifying to spend time with other tech savvy educational leaders. Debbie and I have had some opportunities to tell folks about our simulators. In every case, everyone that we have talked to about the simulators have been very impressed.
Mike also took the opportunity to set up a new Twitter account: @IKSTitanSim. Be sure to check it out, along with @IKSHighlander.
Congrats to Mike and Debbie for representing DFA and their districts at the summit!