Once again ISTE delivers – Kevin Carroll of Katalyst fame was the keynote speaker this morning and man what a story of inspiration! Some key take aways for me were: Do amazing magical things; Use Play; That Play is as important as eating, sleeping, and drinking; Play is serious business but also connects people and communities; If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough; We can all be global game changers; Students do what they see, they will model from the adults around them; Play like a child; Shift Your Gaze – Look Up! And a most important quote from Albert Einstein – “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” Find a ball to chase, that makes a difference, that changes people for the better!
First session of the day for me was a discussion about implementing blended learning into teacher professional development and Andrew Miller was our facilitator. I have no desire to be an administrator and have no plans to do so, however as a teacher leader wanting my staff to be the most amazing staff every year this idea intrigues me. I am building a website for the faculty at our school that will hopefully help them with educational technology. So, this lesson was a great session for me to see some of the current thinking and best practices for getting professional development to be something that it should be: Professional Development (not time to grade or read through Twitter…).
Second stop for the day was with the ladies from SimpleK12. They had 40 Free apps to share and only 60 minutes to do it (too many for me to list and I am having trouble syncing my notes…grrrr). They made it but just barely. Some of these apps I was familiar with, some not so much, but all of them would work on any tablet device and that was cool – if you are interested in this list, email me and I will get it to you when I have more reliable wifi!
We had a chance to wander through the Expo for just a few minutes before the next session started – my colleagues went in search of lunch and I went to a session about creating a gamefication system for parents in the old school house. Talk about this isn’t your mamma’s school building anymore. The staff at Venetian Elementary school use the educational management app Class Dojo to award parent points and goodies for the positive contribution they made at the school, usually something that took some time out from their day. Venetian had a point system all set up and little rewards along the way as parents “levelled” up. This school is all about getting their parents involved and I like it! Kristina was super great and showed up a little bit late, but with food – lunch consumed on the run at 3:30.
Final session today was really interesting for me: PBL in a Flipped Classroom. I am a proud flip class teacher and love the way this model can really benefit students. I am also super interested in Problem Based Learning as well. Lets face it, students are not given nice, neat simple problems when they get into real life. I really want to move my class more toward this kind of environment, but have had a tough time finding/developing/using things that create that kind of learning environment. This was a great place to be and was led by Michael Gorman. He took us through several different ways that PBL and Flip Class intersect and how to start using some of those things in the classroom. I am still struggling with PBL for my personal use, but got some great takeaways that I can easily incorporate into my everyday culture. To see some of those ideas (I don’t want to type all night…) just click his name read away!
We got out of downtown Atlanta tonight for dinner: $2.50 for the MARTA fare and we were off to the suburbs to find a place to eat and rest and not feel rushed and crammed and have to wait forever. Mission accomplished! Chipotle and Häagen-Dazs…I know, I could have eaten these at home and that is totally correct. But getting zero wait time and a chance to sit and hang with my peeps was more important tonight.
One more day…