The UK College of Education and its Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab are excited about the opportunity to partner with organizations to promote and improve education and health across Kentucky, and that is the purpose of this series entitled, the P20 Innovation Zone.

In future public forums, we will talk with experts from a wide range of areas across Kentucky and beyond. In these frank and open discussions, we want to identify people, issues, assets, and opportunities that will lead to programs that transform public education and support a more educated and healthy Kentucky. Please take the time to comment on the issues we raise and make your own contribution to improving education across Kentucky.

In this first P20 Innovation Zone, we want to explore ways in which Kentucky school districts are responding to questions about “How do we educate in a rapidly changing world?” and “How do we focus information and technology to produce meaningful change?”

Several guest panelists joined us for the first episode of P20 Innovation Zone:

Dr. Carmen Coleman is currently serving as superintendent of Danville Independent Schools. This is her third year. Prior to this role, she was an elementary school director in Fayette County for three years. Before that, she was an elementary teacher and principal in Scott County. Under Dr. Coleman’s leadership, teachers and students at Danville High School have been selected to participate in national research related to student engagement.

Nick Sauers is currently the Leadership Training Coordinator of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE) at the University of Kentucky. CASTLE is the nation's only center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. In his position with CASTLE, Nick works with administrators to develop their personal technology skills and deepen their understanding of the impact of technology on education. Nick has also worked with numerous schools across the country as they implement 1:1. Prior to assuming his role with CASTLE, Nick was an elementary and middle school principal, teacher, and coach in public schools in Iowa.

Dr. Joan Mazur is professor of Instructional Systems Design & Technology in the department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University Of Kentucky College Of Education. Her current research interests focus on digital game-based learning as innovative curriculum and assessment. Her long time research interests have focused on emerging technologies, narrative and visualization. Dr. Mazur is a faculty associate at the UK Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments and is a director of the P-20 Digital Learning & Design Innovation Lab at the College of Education. Game-based learning projects are underway in Danville, Madison, Washington and Fayette county schools. Her work has been funded by NSF, NIOSH and various private foundations.

Scott Hawkins is in his fourth year as superintendent of the Woodford County Public Schools and his 24th overall in education. During his tenure, Woodford County has improved from 63rd to 14th in state rankings according to state assessment results. In June of 2011, the district also became the first in Kentucky to approve a 1:1 initiative using tablet devices. Full implementation has begun, and within the next two weeks, all 1,250 students at Woodford County High School will receive an IPad. Scott serves as president of the Central Kentucky Education Cooperative and he also is a member of the Commissioner of Education’s Local Superintendent Advisory Council.

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