Monday, July 20, 2015

Conference recap

I truly enjoyed the state tech conference last month. I have enjoyed it in the past, but something was different last week. I know attending ISTE last year helped to open my eyes to a new world, but I also think I'm finally gaining a confidence in myself as an educator. Confidence not in a prideful way, but in a believing in myself finally kind of way. It has taken me awhile to be able to see what others could see(even though I hear/read the feedback). If you are not involved in some sort of PLN (Personal Learning Network) via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or some other social media....start today! Look for a post next week more about this....There is something though about being connected with educators across the state and even across the country. Even though some you may never meet in person, the wisdom, experience, and growth that is available through a PLN is priceless. Be a connected educator...learn from others and share what you know. Learning is a cycle, share to keep it going. Connecting with your PLN adds a new depth to conferences and a growth opportunity that is unique. On to the Top 10 style ;-) Here are ten things/take-aways that I gleaned from the conferences last month. It's a mixture of big ideas, ah-ha moments, and tools to use. Some may be from the local tech conference...I never finished the blog before that, so here's to combining the two;-)

  1. TestMoz I had never heard about this site until last month(Thank you Dr. Mayburn from Tech in Motion). It allows you to create quick assessments for students. It also shows you how they did. Remember your password and code to get back in though, because other wise you can't log back in. You can take the link it gives you for the assessment and create a QR code or share digitally via another way. The possibilities are endless....and the best part's FREE ;-) and no email is required for students to log in. 
  2. My eyes were opened to the educational uses of Wikipedia and Flipboard...I will be working on some smore handouts to share with teachers at my school later on this year to include these resources. Flipboard is a great tool not just for catching up on "news", but for updating events, academic topics, and textbooks. Wikipedia is also not what it used to be. There is an intense process of rubrics and looking at information before something is published. It's also one of the biggest ways students can contribute to the information being published. 
  3. Major takeaway from the keynote speaker, Jeff Utecht: Students are going to use Technology, let's teach them how to use it. Their social life includes social media, their school life includes social media and technology. We need to teach kids how to balance social and school life and use time wisely. 
  4. Kids in 4th grade should know how to navigate and use the Google search page. The information is out there, are we making sure we teach students the skills needed in order to find it? 
  5. Brand your school: Make sure parents know how to interact with the school's Facebook page and develop a school hashtag....
  6. Evernote: Leslie Fischer has an in-depth handout on tools that even I didn't know about when using Evernote. Check out her website...well worth the time to look at it. 
  7. IF app (used to be called IFTT).....I have heard about this app for two years from Dr. Buck, but I am FINALLY starting to be able to integrate it for some organizational things. I'm one of those once I find the way to best integrate it in, I will use it on a regular basis and share with others. My new favorite is the recipe that lets me send favorite tweets to a notebook in Evernote so I can check out the links later. 
  8. Power My Learning  Excited to share this site with teachers and to start using it with my students. 
  9. Tellagami and Vocaroo are two apps I wish I had more iPads so that use these tools with my students. There is so much out there for exceptional learning students. 
  10. Google Katie L. Greer, she spoke at our local tech conference on apps and cyber security....follow her on Twitter, FB, and her blog. Solid information that needs to be shared with parents and students. 
I was unable to attend ISTE in person this year, but I was so thankful for Twitter. Here is a link to all of the resources that were compiled and shared on Twitter. Not at ISTE LiveBinder

Stay tuned to the blog....I know I always say more is coming, but I promise it is. Year 10 starts for me next week and I have already made this blog a priority. I held off on my Summer PD books until work starts back....I find the first few months are when I need recharging the most. I need to be reminded I'm not an island and to connect with other educators. So look for thoughts from those books as well....Also don't forget to check out my own LiveBinder for updates on handouts, resources etc. Feel free to share with other teachers..

Have a great week! 

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