Topics: Alumni, Teachers College

March 20, 2008

The three "R"s, reading, writing and arithmetic, have long been the staple ingredients in a child's education, but the Internet and other multimedia content is now changing the way kids learn and how teachers teach.

Leading experts from their respective fields will discuss how students can succeed in the digital age during Professor Garfield's Digital Imagination Symposium, sponsored by Ball State University.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 2 at the Kite Center (eighth floor), 30 S. Meridian St. in Indianapolis.

The speakers and presentation titles include:

  • Sally Shaywitz, M.D., and Bennett Shaywitz, M.D., professors, Yale University, "Why Some Smart People Have Trouble Reading: Overcoming Dyslexia"
  • David Ferguson, executive director of the Center for Media Design, Ball State, "The Future of Digital Learning"
  • Lawrence Smith, CEO, Professor Garfield Foundation, "Using Technology to Teach Reading Effectively in the Classroom"
  • Jim Davis, Garfield creator, Paws, Inc., "Imagining Kids' Success in Reading Through Digital Technology"

A fundraising event to benefit the Professor Garfield Foundation, including a silent auction and dinner, will follow the symposium. The event will be at 6:30 p.m. at Ruth's Chris Steak House, 45 S. Illinois St., Indianapolis. Tickets are available to the public for $250 per person.

RSVP to Lawrence Smith at For more information, contact Smith at 317-370-5929.

About Professor Garfield

Professor Garfield, the brainchild of Garfield creator and Ball State alumnus Jim Davis, is a free "edutainment" Web site ( created in 2005 for kids. It includes a treasure trove of educational content for pre-school through eighth grade students as well as a "Teacher's Lounge," which provides additional classroom material and activities that can be downloaded.

About Professor Garfield Foundation

Professor Garfield Foundation is a nonprofit joint venture between Paws, Inc., owned by Garfield creator Jim Davis, and Ball State, and its nationally recognized Teachers College, which also happens to be Davis' alma mater. The foundation was established by a team of educators and business executives with the goal of improving child literacy.