From Cleveland and NES, I went directly to Atlanta to the ISTE 2014 (International Society for Technology in Education). For three months we had planned this conference trip. And it finally arrived.
There were some good points and bad points to the conference. First if you are deciding on going next year here are a couple of hints. Do not go on the first two days, meaning the conference started on Friday, but the free workshops didn’t start until Sunday. On Saturday there was the ignite session which was pretty good. But you had to watch it on TV because it was closed out. In reality we both agreed (I had another person from our school attending with me) that you could arrive late Saturday and still enjoy some of the events on Saturday. We did get a chance to attend the celebration event. During the time there on Saturday we had a chance view some of the poster presentations. There were a variety of presentations. Poster presentations were topics being presented by different people about different topics.
Sunday and Monday were the best days for the conference, for us anyway. One of the “presentation areas” of the conference that I thought was unique were the “playgrounds”. Here people presented various technology used in teaching different topics. For example, there was a playground named “Science and Math”. Presenters showed off some of the technology they used in their Science classrooms. These presentations were great because you had the freedom to walk around and talk to the presenters as they showed off their tools. Of course one of the presenters was NASA. Their table was constantly crowded. Nothing unusual about that. Good resource for the magnetosphere mission called “Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission”.
Both days had a number of presentations, but because of the amount of people who were attending the event seemed have a good many presentations closed because they were filled. We did get into the Expo on the first day and this was impressive. As a matter of fact this is where we got some up to date information about different tools. One of those tools was Google Classroom. I think this is going to be a hit among schools that use Google Apps and tools in their school. During the conference you could ask for a demonstration of the tool. We did and were impressed. What was impressive was the way Google was streamlining all their apps so you could use them in one place. Also you could grade and do other assessment work in the classroom. Other talks introduced different ways you could use Google spreadsheets and draw. I thought the best information of new tools were given out at each vendors presentation area. At Google, Adobe and Tech Smith.
At Tech Smith I actually meet Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, the guru’s of flipped learning. They introduced their new book “Flipped Learning Gateway to Student Engagement” which goes beyond “Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day.” One of my goals this year is to improve on the flipped part of my classroom. So when I had the chance to obtain some advice from these flipped experts I took it. I got some really good ideas from Mr. Bergmann on how to introduce my students to vodecasts and note taking. Definite ideas for the beginning of the year and how to get them started on the proper way to take notes from the vodcasts. This was something I needed to improve upon.
The other really good presentation was by Microsoft and OneNote. It seems this program has made such improvements that more people are jumping on board with it. Gave me some awesome ideas for the upcoming school year since we are going 1:1. Students could use this as their notebook, journal or even lab notebook. Take a look at some of the features at this website (Interact Café) and you might find some cool ideas. Most of the tips are for OneNote 2013. Which I think is an improvement on the office products.
There were tons of other exciting material being given out at the conference, but of course we couldn’t see everything. The above were just a few of the highlights that I particular liked. I will say that we could have cut this trip down to 3 days instead of five. On Tuesday there wasn’t much to do. We did go to a couple of presentations, but we could have left in the morning. If you are going to this conference next year I would recommend you sign up for presentations that have pre-registration. Then you can always fill your time in with other workshops. Here are the numbers from ISTE, check out this graphic on the ISTE Blog.
Posted on July 16, 2014, in Class Ideas, Flipping the Classroom, Google, ISTE 2014, Teacher Ideas, Teacher Strategies, Web 2.0 Tool and tagged Cardinal Gibbons High School ISTE 2014 Google Classroom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.