In November, +Ramona Towner and I had the opportunity to present and attend the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit in Boston November 12-14.
|Mona and I @ the Pre-Conference|
|Mona + I Presenting|
During this hands-on, full day workshop, +Thomas Daccord discussed how to utilize a small number of apps efficiently to help enhance your current curriculum. Some of the main apps that we reviewed, explored, and created in were: Explain Everything, Book Creator, Padlet, and Socrative. With people from all over the world (Australia, CA, Canada, HI, and more!), it was great to see the amount of collaboration that was able to take place. +Thomas Daccord really focused on the idea of Evergreen Apps. He explained that "Evergreen Apps" are non-subject apps useful throughout the year for speaking, writing, listening, drawing, annotating, curating, collaborating, sharing, and more. In the "Evergreen Apps" article he states that "Instead of trying to find an app to teach every curriculum topic (an impossible feat and a waste of time), educators instead can integrate Evergreen Apps, along with perhaps a few select content apps, to foster student creativity and innovation (pg. 2)."
This was a great day of learning and listening to educators all over the world and working with "Evergreen Apps" to create. Less really IS more!
Thursday: Conference Day 1
On Thursday, +Ramona Towner and I were able to be attendees AND presenters. It was such a learning experience to be on both sides of the conference. First off, I never realized how nervous I would be to present and second, it was an amazing way to have more in depth conversations with attendees.
Throughout the whole day, I also got to experience first hand what it is like to be in charge of the Instagram for +EdTech Baton. Now this was SO fun! +Shawn McCusker and I shared the #edtechbaton for the day to show what #ettipad looked like from our point of view. Here is a snapshot of what we explored during and in between sessions: Creation Station, Schedule Activities, Elementary Panel Discussion, Green Screen, and meeting other educators. Interested in "holding the baton" yourself? Check out their site to sign up: EdTechBaton.
To end the day on Thursday, I was asked to sit on the Elementary Panel Discussion on iPad integration in classrooms. This was a first for me to be part of a panel discussion and I loved the way the +Beth Holland ran the panel because it allowed for a discussion amongst the room rather than a sit and get Q&A. The discussion was on the process of integrating iPads into the curriculum and I was able to participate in the discussion by sharing my experiences as a 1:1 integrator from when I was a 1st + 4th grade teacher to now being an iCoach.
Friday was the last day of the conference and was able to be a learner all day! My favorite part about conferences is learning from other educators that I would not normally meet. I always find myself going to sessions on topics that I feel comfortable with. If I have learned anything from Piaget...it's "We are not learning if we are comfortable." (Thanks Heidi Hayes Jacobs for reminder of this in Thursday's Keynote). Sooooo, for this particular day I decided to 'shadow' my new friend +Sabba Quidwai and follow her to her chosen sessions. Since she is the Director of Innovative Learning at Keck USC, Family Med, her interest in sessions were much different than this former first grade teacher's session choices. This ended up working wonderfully and I was able to get out of my comfort zone of typical breakout sessions to attend. My biggest takeaway from the event was to BALANCE the digital and analog integration in your classroom and to do so effectively and consciously. I also walked away with a better understanding of the need for student portfolios. I am eager to continue brainstorming and researching with my iCoach team on what this could look like in BSD100. (Suggestions/advice on the best platform are welcomed!).
|Wonderful Educator Friends!|
I had the pleasure of assisting +Thomas Daccord during the pre-conference session: iPads in the Elementary Classroom.
The fabulous @jg_jgarrett assisting @thomasdaccord iPads in Elementary Classrooms @ #ettipad Boston 2014 pic.twitter.com/Dw81FgOL6W
— Ramona Towner (@rmbtowner_tech) November 12, 2014
Our conference was first thing in the morning so of course the nerves were full force during the Keynote. Regardless of the nerves, we were able to enjoy the Keynote speaker, +Heidi Hayes Jacobs . She is the Executive Director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and President of Curriculum Designers, Inc. Her site is Curriculum 21. She said something that really stuck with me through the rest of the conference - New kinds of schools are being created and we need to prepare learners for these environments. I kept this in the back of my head as I continued through the conference. Now being back in +South Berwyn 100 I am trying to start thinking like a kid in these new 'school' environments that we have created from our 1:1 program.
Directly following the Keynote, +Ramona Towner and I began our presentation: Bringing PLCs to Life through Google+ Communities. The two communities we focused on were from D100: The Fridge + The Toolbox. These communities have been used to combine resources, questions, comments, concerns, ideas, etc. from teachers/admins/coaches across all eight buildings into one cohesive spot. I love Google+ communities for their archivable and searchable features. During this session we told the D100 story and shared our successes in rolling out the two Google+ Communities across the district.
My favorite part of the day was being challenged by +Greg Kulowiec in his Keynote speech to try out sketch noting. In his Keynote he focused on the balance between digital and analog tools to use in your classroom. He explains that by finding tools that are flexible, more in depth learning can take place. One way that he discussed was sketch noting and challenged the audience to try it out. After walking out of his presentation, I made it my goal to sketch note all day - here are some little samples of my sketch notes. Not the best, but I am trying!
Overall, #ettipad was a great learning experience. I had the opportunities to share, present, meet, and collaborate with educators all over the world. In fact, I met some really wonderful educators and am thankful to Twitter/Instagram/Google+ for allowing them to stay in my PLN to share resources and advice with one another in our journeys.
Hope to see you all at future conferences!