We are the learning, technology, and innovation team at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa. Please get in touch!
Meredith Allen is the newest member of the Technology Innovation Team at Prairie Lakes AEA, joining after teaching for nine years in the Laurens-Marathon school district. As a classroom educator Meredith taught instrumental music and K-7 computing and also facilitated the high school’sVirtual Reality Education Pathfinders program. She served on the District Leadership Team, was the district’s Technology Integrationist, and assisted with implementation of the district’s 1:1 computing initiative. Meredith has strong interests in elementary coding and is a CS Fundamentals Facilitator for Code.org. She also is certified in the Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI), reflecting her strong desire for classrooms that foster deeper student engagement. Meredith has a Master’s of Science in Technology for Education and Training and participated in the 2016 Iowa cohort of the national Teacher Leadership Initiative, a joint endeavor of the National Education Association (NEA), the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), and The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Meredith is an Education Advisor for Soundtrap and serves on the company’s global Teacher Network as well as a Education Consultant for Flat.io – both award-winning online music spaces for students to create and collaborate. Meredith is excited to work with area educators, focusing on deeper learning through student-centered, problem-based learning experiences that result in student agency, authentic work, and, of course, technology integration!
Julie Graber is a passionate educator who is most interested in seeing teachers and administrators improve learning opportunities for students. Deeper thinking with technology, authentic learning, curriculum design, and performance assessments are some of Julie’s many areas of expertise. After 13 years as a technology coordinator and business/computer teacher, Julie currently serves as an Instructional Technology Consultant for Prairie Lakes AEA by supporting educators with effective teaching, leading, and technology practices. Julie was one of four coaches in the state of Iowa to first be trained in Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW). She has served on several state leadership teams, including the North Central STEM Hub Advisory Board and the Design Team for the Iowa Competency-Based Education Collaborative. Julie is certified in the Instructional Practices Inventory and provides training for Defined Learning. In 2014, Jay McTighe asked Julie to join his group, McTighe and Associates, to conduct workshops for educators using the Understanding by Design curriculum framework. Julie is a regular local, state, and national presenter focusing on student-centered learning, authentic work, and project-based learning.
Prior to joining Prairie Lakes AEA as an Instructional Technology Consultant in August 2013, Leslie Pralle Keehn taught middle and high school Social Studies and middle school technology courses at Northeast Hamilton CSD in Blairsburg, Iowa. After taking on a leadership role in professional development at Northeast Hamilton, Leslie helped lead the district’s 1:1 iPad implementation. Leslie has classroom and professional experience and training in numerous areas, including gamification, blended learning, project-based learning, and standards-based grading, and was one of the first teachers in the country to pilot the Big History Project. She recently became a Code.org affiliate trainer for their elementary computer science curriculum. Leslie has received several awards and recognitions during her time in education. As a teacher, she was named a Bill of Rights Institute Fellow (2010), C-SPAN Education Fellow (2011), and Iowa Council for the Social Studies 2012 Teacher of the Year. After entering the ed tech world full time, Leslie was named a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator in 2014, and an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2015. In 2016 she was named to the National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” list, and an Emerging Leader by the International Society for Technology in Education. Leslie is a regular local, state, and national presenter, focusing on student creation, digital citizenship, the maker movement, and empowering young learners.