2017 Teachers Summer Conference

This summer’s Wildly Different KAIRS K-12 Teachers Conference will focus on assisting teachers explore Tech and Teaching Strategies for the classroom. Unique speakers will provide practical tips and insights on meaningful technology integration in the classroom, ways that teaching strategies can enhance learning, how classroom design can impact today’s learners and updates on the latest tech offerings.

The two-day event will feature our outstanding keynote speaker Erin Klein. She will open both mornings with a featured keynote and will then lead a breakout for specific grade levels each afternoon. There will also be a wide variety of breakout sessions throughout the day, including great websites to enhance learning in K-5 classrooms and for all middle school classes. How to use and implement Google Classroom for 6-12 will also be offered.

Pack your walking shoes and a sunhat as this wild (!) conference will include a guided safari of Tanganyika Wildlife Park.


WILDLY DIFFERENT Tech and Teaching Strategies

KAIRS K-12 Teachers Technology Conference
July 27-28, 9:30 am (Registration)

Conference Schedule: 10 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Tanganyika Wildlife Park
1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052
see their cool website!!

On the West edge of Wichita in Goodard



Keynote Speaker

Erin Klein is an award-winning educator, national keynote speaker, author and mother, who travels the country speaking about how meaningful technology integration  and the power of the student voice can enhance learning experiences. She is also a classroom design consultant and discusses the impact classroom design has on today’s learner. 

Erin has twice been selected to serve on the Scholastic, Inc. Top Teaching Team based in New York. She has served the past three years at the technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association. In addition, she was the 2014 recipient of the MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) Pre-K – 12 Teacher of the Year.

She is certified in Brain Gym, Educational Kinesiology and has studied under consultants from The Center for Effective learning to understand how design affects cognition and learning.

Erin received her master’s of education in Curriculum and Instruction, currently teaches at the elementary level and lives in Michigan with her family.

Her education blog can be found at Kleinspiration.com and you can follow her on Twitter@KleinErin.

Erin’s Keynotes and Breakouts

  • Connect.  Collaborate.  Create a Global Personal Network.
 – Interested in exploring social networking, expanding your professional goals, and collaborating on projects with teachers across the world?  Within a few years, see how Erin, a teacher in Michigan, grew her network to over 70,000 colleagues, contributed to two books being published and became the state’s Technology Chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association. She also joined the SMART Technologies Exemplar Educator team and started an international recognized award-winning blog. Join Erin as she shares how becoming a connected educator opened up professional doors to launch her career.  You will be surprised with what started her on this ambitious journey.
  • Create Brain-Friendly Learning Spaces that are Student Centric – Are you looking for easy and creative ideas for your best learning space ever? Erin shares creative ways you can organize your classroom and create unique spaces, all in the service of helping children learn. She explains fundamental elements of creating a space that is developmentally appropriate. Erin will provide practical tips to take back to your classroom immediately.
  • Digital Workstations for the Student Centered K-5 Classroom– In this session, attendees will see how one elementary teacher can leverage technology to maximize teaching time, while differentiating instruction for all students. Erin will share how having a single iPad in the classroom allows a teacher to internally flip instruction so that students can get the most focused support in a limited time frame. If you do Daily 5, Centers or Workstations, you will appreciate these simple yet dynamic and creative teaching ideas!
  • Student Voice and Creativity: Elevating the Craft of Writing through Revision and Conferring –Learn strategies to launch your writing workshop with organization and creativity.  You will gain useful management tips and sound pedagogical practices to lift the craft of your writers’ stories.  With these insightful ideas, students will become inspired to write longer, with enthusiasm and growing in confidence.  You will enjoy teaching each lesson as you can look closely at the mentor texts to see students applying quality craft to their own writing.


 Breakout Sessions

Your K-5 Kids Will “Go Wild” For These Websites …And you will Go Wild about how easy they are to use in your classroom. In this session we will explore and share our favorite no-fuss, no-cost websites that promote student learning and engagement, require minimal teacher direction, and allow students to work at their own level and pace, making them a great fit for center activities or independent learning time.  These sites can be utilized by all K-5 classroom teachers, both the “tech-know” and “tech-no!” Hunting and exploring these websites will be highly encouraged, so bring your own device!   –  Presenters: Amy Ducote (bio) and Stephanie Banning (bio)


Life in a Google Classroom – If you have toyed with the idea of including a digital classroom platform in your traditional K-12 classroom, Google Classroom is for you. Google Classroom provides a community environment to share assignments, thoughts and resources. You’ll learn how to set up your own classroom using Google’s blended learning platform that simplifies creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way by combining tools like: Google Drive for creating and distributing assignments; Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for writing; and Google Calendar for scheduling. Valerie will help you understand how you and your students can collaborate online  and easily communicate and manage assignments. She makes learning all about it easy – and fun! – Presenter: Valerie Rohlman (bio)


Countering the Middle School “I’m Bored” Stare With Technology – Middle school. Your students are at such a tough age. They seem to have mastered the “I’m bored” stare. So how do you keep them engaged? Technology! In this informative session, attendees will learn about different websites and online resources to use with these sometimes “I’m bored” students. Christy will cover a range of topics including include Lesson Ideas, Social Studies, Science, ELA, Educational Games and more. If you teach Middle School, you will love learning about different sites to engage your students and say goodbye to that “I’m bored” stare. – Presenter: Christy Ross (bio)


Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Apps That Will Blow Your Mind! – In this session, you will learn more about how virtual and augmented reality are changing the way we teach, learn and work. Apps shared will include Google Expedition, Google Cultural Institute, Discovery VR, Aurasma, Elements 4D, Nearpod, Zootopia and more! Bring your VR glasses if you have some and don’t forget your Smartphone!

Around the World with Google My Maps – Bring your devices and let’s learn what we can do with Google My Maps in any subject. Do you teach Geography? History? English? Math? Spanish? Science? Learn how you can extend your lessons to include student-led presentations in Google My Maps.  – Presenter: Michelle Bolin (bio)


Guided Tour Through Tanganyika – Erinn Stiles, winner of the 2016 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Award, is the amazing Educational Director and Volunteer Coordinator for the Tanganyika Wildlife Park – and she does a simply stellar job at it! Read more about Erinn and Tanganyika…

– Presenter: Erinn Stiles (bio)




Download the
K-12 Summer Teachers Conference Info and Registration Flier

Register Today! Registration Ends Friday, July 21!
Registration Fee: $30 Per Person (lunches included)


Conference Attendees Can Receive One Graduate Credit from Friends University Friends logo

Teachers who attend the two-day conference have the option of registering with Friends University to receive one hour of graduate credit.

This year, Friends University staff will be at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park to register you on site! Attendees will enroll and pay their tuition fee of $85 with check or cash the morning of the conference. 

Friends University KAIRS Summer Conference
Credit Enrollment Instruction & Syllabus for Credit
See Downloadable Forms Page


Conference Questions?

Dr. Jamie Finkeldei, KAIRS Vice President/Treasurer
Associate Superintendent, Catholic Diocese of Wichita
finkeldeij @ catholicdioceseofwichita.org

or Corey Reese, KAIRS Communications Director