Well, it is back to school for many! Now that I have finished creating my online courses, I can finally write this post.
I had the opportunity to go to ISTE 10 in Denver. The learning was excellent for me. Having never been to an ISTE conference before, I got to take in some sessions that gave me a lot of new information. Here is a highlight of just a few of the sessions/individuals I got to learn from.
Saturday started the conference with Educon. The session “Crap Detection” shed new light on how to engage students in writing and researching. Angela Maiers enlightened us with a fool-proof three-step process both for writing and for research: What is the message, who is telling the message, and why is the message important? These simple questions establish credibility which parallels purpose. There you have it…simple yet effective!
Later it was the “Smack Down.” Educators shared some of the cool tools they use in their schools. I was amazed at some of the search engines available. Goofram.com, sweetsearch.com, bingle.nu, Google Squared and more. Really the Internet holds a wealth of information. It is the teacher’s job to share how to find it and how to use it! Excellent!
Sunday I went to the opening keynote by Mario Armstrong. His message: We need to face the "giants" out there and make a difference one thing at a time. Great message! Teachers are not superheroes, though we might like to think we are. We have to choose which battles we want to fight. Which mountain are we willing to die on? In choosing our battles we need to remain focused on the outcome for our schools and our students!
Monday kicked off with a session from Will Richardson. He talked about using social media with student. The key to success? It is all in the links! Teachers are still the facilitators. It isn’t a free-for-all. Everything must have a clear purpose! He concluded with this: Know your impacts, Favor Improvements, Share what you learn (Daniel Goleman via Will Richardson). Excellent advice!
Tuesday I listened as Adam Bellow showed us not Web 2.0 tools, but simply Webtools (his new name for tools on the Web!) He reminded us of how quickly things change, and just as some are learning about Web 2.0, others are introducing Web 3.0. So why give it a number? Just call it Webtools. Makes perfect sense to me! Here are a few of the tools that wowed us: zooburst.com (reality 3D pop-up books), Museum Box (build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box), Sumo Paint Pro (an advanced paint program), Vidinotes (flash player to upload and create a pdf), Capzles (embeddable timelines, stories, etc...), Search-cube (search engine with a 3-D interface), doodlebuzz (a way to search for news stories...graphic organizer type), and so much more!
Wednesday I went to a session by Vicki Davis and Adam Frey. I loved listening to Vicki talk about her use of Wikis in her classroom. It really is amazing to see what students can do with creativity and resources. One example of how a student used a Wiki was for her resume and college applications. WOW! That is definitely something I can use with my classes. You can see the Westwood Schools Wiki managed by Vicki Davis here. Another great classroom site shared in this session is found at classtools.net
The last part of this adventure took place on Wednesday as I got to be a part of a panel discussion, "Personal Learning Networks: Untangling the Secrets of Getting Connected." We talked about how to start, establish, and manage a PLN. What a privilege it was for me to work with Cory Plough, Jason Schrage, Beth Still, Steven Anderson, and Richard Byrne. What a great experience for me to work alongside some really quality people!
Well, these are just a few of the things I took from ISTE 10. Not only did I get to learn from great educators, I got to meet a lot of great people! I could start naming them, but I am afraid I would forget someone. Thanks to all of you who helped make this experience memorable!