Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Great Year at  Technology Professional Development
It was snowing at Killington, Vermont as we gathered at the hotel near the foot of the mountain. I love professional developments like this.  Most of us attend workshops all day and then swim in the heated pool with snow coming down.  We leisurely discuss ideas learned or tech tools that we have never considered.  And we gather in common spaces helping each other relearn with our devices while sipping lovely beverages.  We move from intensity to creativity to playtime and back in a workflow not offered during the daily grind of teaching in a school.
So first, let me shout out to colleague who presented with me at Vermont Fest:
Here's our presentation-
After Hours Social Studies - Using Haiku LMS to Promote 24/7 Learning - HS 
 Whitney Kaulbach and Peter Lavigne 

For this session two high school social studies teachers will demonstrate how they use Haiku LMS to 
conduct dynamic online discussions and promote student learning outside the school day. The presenters will show real examples of online discussions, assessment, and collaboration for learning. Although Haiku LMS is the platform being used, the principles may be applied to other LMS’s as well. 

We rocked this! We were able to reach a diverse audience of educators and schools that have not adopted learning platforms or experiments with asynchronous discussions formats for students.  And we were able to redirect our audience to think about the future of dialogue and the myriad of ways that students enjoy collaborating.

Every year I walk away with a new mindset for offering educational opportunities in the classroom. The Keynote speaker, Eric Sheninger, was mindful of the struggle with the balance of control, structure and possibility but urged us to embrace an ever-changing educational landscape.  As a principal in New Jersey he has moved to open Facebook campus and open twitter.  He believes that the web is publishing ideas and opinions every minute that impact individuals, groups and organizations.  Isolation does not allow us to own our identities. Own your identity. Shape your brand. Use more Twitter. Be uncomfortable with students leading our daily classroom.....ok.......

A Day in the Life of an iPad: How iPads are Really Being used in a 1:1 Environment -  
 Marc Gilbertson, Sara Reed took educators through the trials and tribulations of setting up the 1:1. Students needed digital citizenship training. Teachers needed to learn how to turn on their iPads and then how to create a workflow.  Storage, take home, leave at school.... exhausting.  And so worth it.
Minecraft: This Will Blow You Away – Sally Bisaccio, Jane Wilde, Mike Beardsley. 
This blew me away.  Especially the child who demonstrated how minecraft was played and commented on his rationale for his movement.  This would be a great class or club activity.  Oh Please Lamoille, let's start this!
Because of Minecraft I gained some courage and went to the next presentation, thinking I was savvy enough to learn how to design my own gaming apps. 

On the Road to iPad App Development - Lucie deLaBruere 
Well, I was wrong. I can't just walk in, design an app and walk away.  All I learned was how much there is to learn about app design.  On the plus side, everyone starts out as a beginner and the learning curve is steep.  She encouraged us to consider taking college courses that are offered in this at a few Vermont locations.  That seems possible.  Getting credit in creating a app. I like that. 

3D printing! argh- I missed out on this. 

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