Educator Conference

2016 Educator Conference

November 3rd, 2016
8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Mall of America
Parkview Meeting & Event Center
SW Corner of Nickelodeon Universe

Includes: Two great speakers, handouts, breakfast and lunch, 6 hours of CEU’s

Technology: How to Enhance Access to the General Curriculum

“This session provides interactive, innovative and practical technology-based solutions for the student with Down syndrome. Participants will engage in activities to further expand their understanding of Apps, technology-based solutions and innovative tools applicable to challenges in the area of academic, functional, and social growth and development. Attendees will walk away with practical tips for students/children of all ages. Dr. Smith is a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, national presenter and the parent of four school-age children, two having exceptionalities.”


Sean J. Smith holds the rank of Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Dr. Smith has a background in the area of special education and technology, specifically towards the integration of technology across teacher preparation programs. He has authored and presented a number of articles and papers dealing with special education technology and is currently a Project Director on several US Department of Education program initiatives seeking to further the integration of technology components across teacher preparation programs and into the lives of students with disabilities as well as the development of a virtual social skill training experience for students with Autism. Dr. Smith has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Special Education Technology and currently serves as an Associate Editor for Teaching Exceptional Children. He is the proud parent of four young children, one having an intellectual disability.

How to Effectively Engage and Educate Students with Down Syndrome

Evidence-based classroom strategies for working with students with Down Syndrome will be shared.  What does the research say?  How can you implement these in the classroom with and without paraprofessional support? Dr. Bonawitz will share personal teaching stories along with the research.  She will provide multiple “take-aways” that could be used in your classroom tomorrow.  For parents, these tips and tools would be great ideas to request or discuss at your child’s next IEP meeting; they are also good techniques to use at home.

bonawitz-katieDr. Katie Bonawitz has 20 years of experience in special education.  She worked as a special education teacher and administrator for 10 years in the public schools. She is an Associate Professor and Director of Special Education Graduate Programs at Bethel University.  She has presented at state, national and international conferences on a variety of topics including: differentiation, collaboration between special education and general education teachers, meeting the needs of Muslim children with disabilities, universal design for learning, the Finnish education system, and effective teaching strategies for general education teachers.  Her current areas of research include: Special Education in the Finnish Schools, Teacher Recruitment and Retention, and Transformational Teacher Preparation.


8—8:45 am Registration and

Continental Breakfast

8:45—9 am Welcome & DSAM Updates

Presented by:  Kathleen Forney,

Executive Director, DSAM

 9 am—12 pm Session I

(Break from 10:30 to 10:45 am)

Presented by: Sean Smith PhD

Noon—1 pm  Lunch 

1 pm—3 pm Session II

(Break from 2—2:15 pm)

Presented by: Katie Bonawitz