Staff training: For two days last summer, LSI at Parsons faculty and staff participated in intensive software training presented by University of Kansas instructional technology training experts, Kim Glover and Kathy Pribbenow. Leading us through the intricacies of creating and using graphs and charts with Excel, Kim shared her knowledge and a good measure of patience with students using both PC and Mac platforms. Not to be outdone, Kathy taught us new and better ways to use the presentation software, PowerPoint. Features included a review of the basics and quickly moved on to importing data for charts, adding animation and transitions, modifying templates as well as ways to “tune up” our presentation skills. At the end of the second day, one learner commented that she would rather participate in a training like this one than attend a staff appreciation dinner. High praise, indeed, for Kim and Kathy.
Research presented in Oslo: In August, Kate Saunders, senior scientist, talked about her research in a presentation, “Instructional Programming and the Stimulus Control of Early Reading Skills” at the Association of Behavior Analysis International 5th International Conference in Oslo, Norway. About the experience, Dr. Saunders said, “It was exciting presenting at a truly international conference, and seeing how widespread Behavior Analysis is becoming. Close to 30 countries were represented. The other speakers in my symposium were from Brazil, doing work similar to what I am doing, but with Portuguese-speaking children!”
Training staff: The KITS Summer Institute 2009 was held for four days in June on the campus of the University of Kansas. KITS staff planned and hosted the Institute for a statewide audience of 50 early interventionists, special and regular educators, agency personnel, university professors, parents and others. Nationally recognized experts and family members shared their experiences and knowledge on evidence based practices for effective collaboration with families. One enthusiastic participant had this to say, “I wanted to let you know how incredibly impressed I was with the Kansas Inservice Training Summer Institute that was held this week in Lawrence. The organization and facilitation were incredible and the speakers and information disseminated were absolutely amazing!”
ATK attended an international conference in Italy: Sara Sack, Assistive Technology for Kansans director, attended the 10th Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe Conference in Florence, Italy. On her return, Dr. Sack brought the international perspective to the Assistive Technology Reuse National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia and said, “Discussions with national and international policy makers on how technology can help solve global issues of an aging population and the need to increase productivity/independence at home, work, and school have given us new insights and renewed our passion to ensure that people have access to technology and training that meets their needs.”
At the Life Span Institute at Parsons, sometimes we teach, sometimes we’re taught, sometimes we share our knowledge with others, and sometimes we listen and learn. That’s what we did last summer.