Faculty, students and staff of National Louis University spent weeks preparing for the Illinois Computing Educators conference last week, and it paid off in a successful presentation by three students, an informal faculty meetup with prospective students and a welcome table crowded with both interested prospective students and alums who wanted to talk about their wonderful NLU faculty.
“What made the conference stand out for NLU was that we did a lot of coordination before we went,” said Angela Elkordy, Ph.D., chair of the newly formed Learning Sciences program, which offers M.Ed. and Ed.S. Degrees in Learning Sciences with a concentration in Learning Technologies.
New Learning Technologies majors just launched
The new programs in Learning Sciences Education will offer majors in Learning Technologies for Teachers and Learning Technologies for Coaches. The latter is eligible for the Illinois Technology Specialist Endorsement.
After the conference accepted two presentations from Elkordy and Ayn Keneman, Ed.D., they decided to include some students.
They coached M.Ed. in Learning Sciences Education students Tori Alland, Doug van Dyke and Mia Gutsell weekly for six weeks to prep them to give a 2.25-hour workshop, “In Real Life: Designing Digital Learning Experiences,” which went off beautifully, Elkordy said. The students’ names appeared on the conference schedule, which will benefit them by making it easier to be accepted for presentations at future conferences.
Tie-ins to NLU
NLU faculty and staff were delighted when Maureen Miller ’01, M.Ed. in Technology in Education, currently director of technology for Winnetka Public Schools, received the Making IT Happen award at the conference from the International Society for Technology in Education. Miller also received runner-up honors for Tech & Learning Magazine’s 2017 Leader of the Year award.
Elkordy also noted that NLU alum Nicole Zumpano ’10, M.Ed. in Technology in Education (TIE), sits on the executive board of ICE as immediate past president, giving NLU another strong tie to the organization. Zumpano also teaches at NLU.
Giving advance notice of a meetup session
In prepping for the conference, Elkordy worked with NLU’s Enrollment and Outreach staff, which mailed out a postcard inviting conference attendees to a meetup with NLU faculty. Elkordy and Stephen Curda, Ph.D., associate professor in the Technology in Education program and Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Education at National Louis University, geeked out with attendees about technology in education.
Lisa Wolf and Cheryl Sanders of NLU’s Outreach department manned NLU’s welcome table at the event and said lots of enthusiastic alumni dropped by.
“We probably talked to 25 NLU alumni in two and half days,” Wolf said. “We had three doctoral students come running to our table to talk about how thrilled they were with NLU’s programs and faculty. They talked about what they’re doing now and how NLU influenced them.
“The highlight for me was that one doctoral student said one of our faculty had changed his life and his outlook, and this alum is now going forth in the world to do good work.”