Penn State conference focuses on ‘21st Century Classroom’

Educators will share approaches to the future of teaching at a conference on “Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century Classroom” on March 15-16 at Penn State Shenango.

Lolita Paff, associate professor of business economics at Penn State Berks, will speak on "21st Century Learning: Content as the means, not the end" in one of two keynote addresses.

Content used to be the end goal of education, but that is rapidly changing, Paff said. “We need to teach students how to access content, how to filter it, and how to critically evaluate it.”

Technology can help educators delve into greater depth -- not just pack in more content -- in their classes, Paff said. “Technology is helpful, but it’s a means to an end,” she said.  “We need to figure out what we are trying to accomplish in the brief moments we have students with us -- whether in a physical face-to-face environment or a virtual one. What are the best ways to maximize our effectiveness and efficiency?”

David Passmore and Rose Baker, professors from the College of Education at Penn State’s University Park campus, will look at the effects on higher education of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, in a keynote talk titled “The MOOCs are coming to get you!”

Other session topics range from using technology to increase student engagement and mobile apps to increase learning comprehension, to using Harry Potter to introduce students to the research process.

Registrations are being accepted until March 11 for the two-day conference, which includes meals and refreshment breaks. More information and registration forms are available at http://www.outreach.psu.edu/teaching-conference/ online.

Penn State Conferences plans and manages hundreds of programs each year which represent the diversity and strength of Penn State’s academic colleges and provide opportunities for individuals to learn about the latest scholarship, research and developments in their fields or participate in enriching learning experiences. Penn State Conferences is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated March 28, 2013