Institute News

Institute Staff Introduces IWitness at 100th Annual NCTE Conference

Late November 2011–Staff members Sherry Bard, Project Director for Educational Programs, and Sheila Hansen, Senior Trainer and Content Specialist for Educational Programs, represented the USC Shoah Foundation Institute in Chicago at the annual convention of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), a professional organization of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts. This is the first time the Institute has presented at this conference.

It is estimated that nearly 7,000 educators attended the event, Reading the Past, Writing the Future. In its 101st year, NCTE’s annual convention is the most extensive and comprehensive forum for English educators in the U.S., Canada, and other countries where English is taught. Participants include kindergarten through university educators, department chairs, principals, reading specialists, curriculum specialists, literacy coaches, and others. The convention enables all of these groups to come together to explore and discuss the latest in classroom practice, trends, research, and policy affecting literacy education.

On the Friday of the convention, Sheila Hansen and Sherry Bard co-presented a session on IWitness—the Institute’s online application of over 1,000 searchable testimonies—titled: Using Holocaust Survivor Video Testimony to Make Meaning and Share Messages in a 21st Century Learning Environment. Hansen's proposal for this session was selected from over 1,700 entries–the largest in the conference’s history. Conference attendees at the 75-minute session received a demo of IWitness, which highlighted its powerful search tool, student interactive activities, and a preview of a rubric for educators to assess student projects.