Teachers, parents invited to free UHV literacy, technology conference

A June 23 conference coordinated by the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development will give participants new ideas about literacy, technology and how today’s students learn.

Teaching the 21st Century Learner: Literacy, Learning and Technology Across the Curriculum will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the UHV University Center Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Fred Litton

The conference is free and open to the public, including area teachers, parents and education students. Attendees can earn continuing professional education credit hours, and a continental breakfast will be served.

“We wanted to open this conference up to everyone interested in literacy, learning and technology,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “Today’s learning environment is infused with technological and literary advances, so stepping back to have a conversation about these elements is important.”

Carol Klages, a UHV associate professor of education, said the idea for the conference was hatched by literacy faculty members who wanted to give current and future teachers fresh ideas for teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Klages said participants also will learn technology applications. Many adolescent students have their own smartphones and are fluent in social media. Younger students also often use technology devices at home.

Carol Klages

“It’s important for educators to keep up with their students,” Klages said. “Merging technology with teaching and learning is possible, and this conference will explore ways it can be effectively done.”

Tina Melcher, a clinical associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, will be the conference keynote speaker. Her presentation is titled “A Teacher’s Tool Bag: Literacy, Technology and Curriculum.”

Melcher is the director of the UTeach Liberal Arts program at Texas. Her areas of expertise are social studies, and curriculum and instruction. Earlier in her career, she was a high school social studies teacher in the Victoria Independent School District.

After the keynote presentation, attendees will have their choice of breakout sessions. Several of the sessions deal with literacy, which could be of interest to parents, teachers and students.

Jane Fry, associate dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, will lead a session about how to promote early literacy in the home. Katina Thomas, a UHV assistant professor of literacy education, will present “Maximizing Your Read Aloud Experience,” and Klages will focus her talk on what’s new in children’s and adolescent literature.

Attendees also will have their choice of several sessions about technology. Jennifer Martinez, a UHV undergraduate student from Victoria, will talk about using technology in the classroom. Other conference sessions focus on digital content, creating interactive books, building vocabulary, classroom accessibility and co-teaching.

“The event is geared to all content areas and will be useful to teachers across all grade levels,” Klages said.

For more information or to sign up to attend, email Klages at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro