Vicariously Experience #ettipad

IMG_3118     I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit, Boston 2015. I was asked to co-present by my friend and rock star educator, Jodie Deinhammer. (See Apple Story Here.) The trip was then approved by the powers that be and I was set to go to Boston. Now as my two days of learning and sharing has come to a close, I want to reflect on my own learning. Right now, my brain is swirling around trying to find a starting place.

     Well, after a non-eventful late plane, maintenance delay and weather delay followed by a somewhat concerning cab ride later; we made it in late to Boston from DFW. Running mostly on adrenaline that morning, we joined Guy Kawasaki as he commenced the summit with a fun and moving keynote. I love his eleven top 10 rules of The Art of Innovation.

What I learned from Day 1:

  • I gained some great insights on The Art of Innovation. I love hearing how other disciplines can influence education; like marketing and business. These tips hit home with me as I work with a blended learning program that is in transition. I now have tools in which I can tweak my ideas, “perfect my pitch” and let “100 flowers bloom;” amongst others to help support the evolution and growth of the program.
  •  I learned how to make App Dice with PicCollage and many other great technology support ideas from Craig Badura and his Digital Dog-pound.  I hope to incorporate some of these ideas within blended learning to support my team.
  • I am eager to study the HACKing PD model of innovative instruction and decipher how it may help my team to continue to move past the S of the SAMR model. Moreover, it is always good to hear other’s lessons learned with technology integration. Here are the lessons: 1. support of Administration is key, 2. professional development should be continual, 3. it should be a systematic approach and 4.”evidence of learning” should be an accountability piece.
  • I was rejuvenated by The Tech Rabbi’s session, The Invisible iPad. Mr. Cohen emphasized the need for purpose and meaning for learners and that technology should not separately exist. Share-Visualize-Connect-Purpose are central to learning. Finally, be Ad”APP”table. “Technology is only as innovative as You.”

What I gained from Day 2:

  • “Most exciting time to be a learner.” – Justin Reich  I agree! We need to embrace all the resources we have instead of digging in our heels and refusing to embark upon change. Justin emphasized that Design Thinking is the closest thing we have to solve ill-structured problems; which computers cannot do! We need pocket changes to move to systemic changes in education. Get better together. Read it here.
  • One of my favorite sessions of the summit, Creating Digitally Curious Classrooms, with Larry Reiff. This session was packed with examples of engaging lessons and experiences. Point to ponder: “The world is not broken down into 40 minute segments. Why is school?” Learning should not be limited to a single discipline. Use video, karaoke, iBooks Author, etc. and create content instead of consuming content. Engage students.
  • I liked Sabba Quidwai’s message in her session, Are You Indispensable – A Design Thinking Approach to Education.  As educators, we have to be thinking, “What are the challenges and opportunities of our next decade?” Planet – People – Economy  Check out the The Global Goals for Sustainable Development! 
  • Beth Holland and Avra Robinson lead the Are iPads in the Driver’s Seat? What Really Drives Learning?  I gained a new definition of learning; it is measurable change. This change is a shift in knowledge, perception and beliefs. The keys for learner progression are: 1. given voice and choice, 2. connecting to community and 3. gaining a meaningful audience. This will end the question of, “Why are we learning this?” Check out the presentation for some great examples! Let’s build life-long learners!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the session I co-presented with Jodie. Check it out here!  Our session, Design-Engage-Connect, Student Designed Curriculum highlights student learning experiences and steps to a learner-driven curriculum. I really enjoyed the session. I was moved by the very thoughtful questions from our attendees. They were there to learn and share and it showed. What was also impactful about this EdTech Teacher group, is the openness and accepting nature. I felt as if these were my people and I’d know them for so long even though we’d just met. I hope to attend and present at future EdTech events and take a few friends with me!

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