ICE ICE Baby! Conference Wrap Up

I attended the Indiana Computer Educators conference in Noblesville this week.  ICE is the Indiana affiliate of ISTE.  Among other business at this conference, the group will be changing their name to the Indiana CONNECTED Educators.  This is a great thing; a way to acknowledge the change in HOW we interact with each other and what our focus now is with each other, our students and communities.  With great keynotes, Dave Burgess and Kevin Honeycutt, some 100 breakout sessions and workshops, this event was, at the state level, my edtech recharge for the fall.

Things I learned this week:

Evernote

I added Evernote to my arsenal of productivity tools earlier this year but hadn’t really considered the ways I can turn my personal AND professional notes into well organized folders.  Thanks to @LeslieFisher, K-12 Conference presenter from Southern California (we shared an elevator ride later that day, that was fun), I spent the rest of the conference putting notes for each session in one place, used Penultimate (an Evernote handwriting tool) to write (I like writing notes, not typing them) to jot my little heart out and sharing them straight to my new Google Classroom that I share with all the Tech Liaisons in the district!

Check out Evernote; its available in all possible formats, is very easy to use and has extensions and other goodies that make it a productivity goldmine.

SAMR Tools

I’d seen the acronym around and read a little blurb on the topic, but wanted to dig a little deeper into what this was about.  SAMR  stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.  It is used to enhance the was technology is integrated into the classroom/work routine.

At the Substitution level, we’re simply replacing the way we do something with technology.  With Augmentation, we use that technology to complete tasks that are normally done without technology.  Modification involves redesigning how you complete the task using technology and Redefinition allows you to complete a task that, without the technology, could not be completed.

@LanceYoder,  Elementary Tech Coach in Kendallville, showed us iPad tools that can be used to create a SAMR rich classroom and made suggestions on how to “mashup” these tools to create a technology rich learning environment for our students.

Flip Your Technology PD with a Tech Tips You Tube Channel

I’ve considered doing this, but wasn’t quite sure where to start. Thanks to @KellyClifford,  Tech Coordinator for MSD of Steuben County, I can now sit down with my building tech team and map out a plan of attack for getting self-training videos in the hands of the staff in a quick, efficient manner. All I need is a YouTube account, a matrix to keep myself organized, and my camera (phone, tablet or more!).

The biggest take away I got from this session (and I’ve believed it for a while now) is flipping technology requires modeling: from both administration and myself.  If your principal wants everyone to use Twitter, s/he needs to a) use it, b) show and tell others in one on one situations how to use it, and c) send staff tweets to read.  I’ll remind my principal of that next week.  If I, as the tech liaison, want my teachers to use technology, I need to model using technology.  Trust me, my new nickname is the Tech Queen, because I almost always have my iPad or my brand new, district issued Chromebook in hand as I wander down the halls in search of someone in need of assistance.  Sharing learning through short (2 minute) videos will make all the difference in the world in helping others embrace technology in the classroom.

Redefining Professional Development

This session was an eye opener for me.  I think one of the biggest issues most technology coaches have is getting buy in from the staff.  I know, we’re all terribly busy, with our first priority being getting the lesson out there.  The issue of learning how to use the technology that can get that great lesson out there and how to get the staff to stop a minute to learning the technology is, for me at least, the hardest part of the technology integration game.  How do I get them to show up for the training, look at the modules, read the articles, complete the work?

@ChristySteffans,  Tech Coach at Noblesville High, along with her fellow coaches in the district, came up with a way to make it fun for her extremely competitive team of teachers.  Their approach of turning tech training into a game has been a great success.  At the district level, all buildings participate in gaining points as teachers learning different PD and a district wide Leader Board is posted for all to see.  She told us a prize is promised at the end of the school year, and Noblesville High will be victorious!

Project-Based Learning: You Are Almost Doing It Already!

@SueannGalt  got the title of her session right!   I AM almost doing it already!  Sueann took  us through the steps of creating a technology rich project based learning lesson that would ensure academic success for our students. 

If you’d like more information on setting up projects that “wow”, check out Buck Institute for Education.

In addition to these sessions, I FINALLY met one of my favorite @INeLearn people, @MichelleGreen and attended her session on Finding  and Joining Your Google+ Community of Practice. *waves frantically*

Sigh, now to be tech liaison brilliant!  Thanks everyone!