Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State to host Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 1

October 8, 2014

There will be a lot of talking going on when the Pecha Kucha starts at Sycamore Educators Day.

"Imagine a speaker coming and standing before a receptive audience to share a little chat about a big idea that has potential to make a difference in the lives of adults and children in schools," said Ryan Donlan, assistant professor in the department of educational leadership and a conference committee member. "We're using the Pecha Kucha format that will have a PowerPoint presentation to go along with it that is visual and oftentimes compelling in how it complements the speaker's message."

Japanese for "chitchat," Pecha Kucha is a presentation method featuring 20 slides in six minutes and 40 seconds - or 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced, concise talks are expected to spark big ideas in education at the 18th annual conference that will take place 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Bayh College of Education.

The Pecha Kuchas will give teachers, school leaders and counselors from Indiana and Illinois the opportunity to touch on a variety of topics, such as excellence in teaching and mutual learning between students and teachers.

Speakers for the presentations will include Beth Whitaker, professor of education, director of the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence at Indiana State, and author; Mike Lunsford, a columnist, author, and English, history, and humanities teacher at Riverton Parke High School; JaDora Sailes, assistant professor of educational psychology at Indiana State; and Daniel Tanoos, Booker T. Washington High School teacher and baseball coach at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.

An afternoon address will be delivered by Ernie Simpson, principal at Northview High School in Brazil, Ind. Educators interested in extending the conversations developed during the Pecha Kucha will have a chance to do so during the afternoon breakout sessions.

The conference also will serve as a venue for Indiana State doctoral students from the department of educational leadership to share their dissertation research at academic poster sessions.

"This conference is a commitment we make to provide our alumni with professional development," said Denise Collins, associate dean of the Bayh College of Education. "This year, though, we wanted to do something different. Since the conference is meant to rejuvenate and refresh educators, the Pecha Kucha will provide little nuggets of ideas teachers can put into action in their classrooms first thing Monday morning."

Donlan said the event is a chance for education leaders "to reconnect and reenergize as we launch another year trying to make a difference on behalf of children."

"The goal is for educators to be able to return to their classrooms Monday and hit the ground running, recharged with a lot of great new ideas," he said.
Sycamore Educators Day is free for Indiana State students and graduates and costs $25 for the general public. Registration and more information are available at

Contact: Denise Collins, associate dean, Bayh College of Education, Indiana State University, 812-237-2918 or

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or