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Graduate Student Receives Kentucky Outstanding Technology Leadership Award

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photo of Leanna Prater
Leanna Prater

Being an innovator in technology education leadership has garnered UK College of Education student Leanna Prater the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education 2015 Outstanding Leader award. She is now nominated for the International Society for Technology in Education Outstanding Leader award, to be presented in late June at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

Prater, a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction Department’s Instructional Systems Design program, has served as a district technology resource teacher for Fayette County Public Schools for more than 11 years. She was nominated for the award based on her work with LEGO robotics and STEM classes, as well as international, national and state conference presentations on innovative topics such as the framework to create student tasks connecting educational standards to free software for use in the classroom.

As a doctoral candidate, Prater is conducting research in student-authored games as a form of authentic assessment. In addition to game-based learning, her research interests include play, new forms of authentic assessment, constructionism, computational thinking and professional learning experiences for teachers. Prater’s doctoral committee members are COE faculty Dr. Joan Mazur (chair), Dr. Gary Anglin, Dr. Gerry Swan and Dr. Cindy Jong.

It is telling that one of Prater’s favorite quotes is by educator Justin Tarte: “Learning in a classroom where a textbook is the only resource is like looking at a travel brochure and calling it a vacation.”

“I was honored and humbled to receive such special recognition from my peers for the work that I love to do – helping teachers find ways to use innovative tools in the classroom to provide rich, meaningful learning experiences for students,” Prater said.