Monday, December 16, 2013

Adventures at ITEC

    On October 14th and 15th, I attended the ITEC Conference in Des Moines. Since the department had some funding to help students go to conferences for professional development, I volunteered to go. I like conferences... learning new things, meeting new people, getting lots of cool [FREE] stuff and goodies... oh yeah. I like conferences.
    Since I'm a GA at UNI, I spent most of the time during vendor sessions working at the UNI IT booth. We told people about the Masters Cohort beginning in 2014.

Yours truly moving stuff around to organize the booth. I like neatness.

Snapping  pic of some teachers who used our QR code to register for the raffle

All work and no play is no fun! We had to get a couple of pics in. :)

     On Monday the best session I went to was  about the Flipped classroom. An art teacher showed us how she was using iPads to teach her students. Here's a few of the notes I took:

  • Map out positions for video use age so that all students can see.
  • Doing videos prior to can save money and resources. Teacher only has to demonstrate once. But can show video multiple times. 
  • Showing the video saves time and can introduce what students will do. The video can be a guide that plays during activities for students. It can play for absent students to let them make up work. It can be played by a substitute when you are absent.
  • First time, have students watch the whole process. Second time, watch and do along with video. 
  • This can remind them of what the requirements are and how to do it.

I went to a session given by Dane Barnes, "10 skills the modern teacher must have." It was inspired by an article on Edudemic He broke down each skill and made it real and relatable. One of the BEST things he said that is still stuck in my head is, "If you don't volunteer, you will be volun-told." Aye-MEN!
Some of the notes from this session:
10 skills the modern teacher must have 
  • Build your PLN
  • Establish real relationships
  • Understand where technology fits in education
  • Know how to find useful resources
    • Follow edudemic on twitter
    • Follow @mcleod @cybraryman1 
  • Look up the SAMR model (SAMR-I... I am going to SAMR. Be a ninja)
  • Go to edcamp in March.
  • Blog correctly. No therapy blogging for teachers...... Don't do it.
  • Slow down. You don't have to do everything at once.
  • Make social media work for you.
  • Manage your online reputation.
  • MANAGE your social media contracts
  • Don't be afraid to fail.
  • If at first you don't succeed, it's obviously impossible." Dane Barnes 
  • Failure pays the bills. If students got it the first time and didn't fail, we wouldn't have jobs. 
    • First
    • Attempt
    • In
    • Learning
  • Know when to unplug.

    Kathy Shrock's session was not as good as I thought it was going to be. I didn't particularly want to sit and watch someone sit and read off of a Powerpoint presentation. She gave us some good resources to use, but Blah and Blech. Booorrrrinng.

     In contrast, Jeff Utecht delivered an AWESOME keynote address. #W00t! I was motivated to get out into the world and DO something. I want to help students release their fear of failure so that they can experience success. This video is a prime example. This little guy knew that failure was very likely going to happen, but he was okay with that because he knew that success was right around the corner.

    Utecht's "50 Free Apps" session was really worth attending. He told us so many tips and tricks that would make life in all of Google's domains so much easier. My email inbox hasn't been the same since.

    The food was good. I mean that. As a fat kid, things like that matter. I was expecting to have sandwiches, chips, salad, cookies, and the standard tea and lemonade... you know, typical conference lunch fare. I have to give it to the committee, they did well. There was a yummy chicken dish with tasty veggies on Monday. Tuesday was roast beef with more tasty veggies and some potatoes. Oh! And Cheesecake! :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Judging The Global Youth Debates

    A unique assignment that I've had this semester is judging debates that are done by students from around the world. The first debate that I judged did not go smoothly. I read the materials that I was given and tried to judge the initial debate. That did not go well. I had comments to add, but I didn't know when I was supposed to or how. We didn't really get clear directions on if/when we needed to talk with our lead judge. I emailed my first lead judge and I'm still waiting to hear back from him. -__-
    The second time around, I judged a debate between a school in California and a school in Vienna. Their debate was about plastic water bottles and how they either do more harm than good. It was interesting listening to the students argue their points knowing that I was supposed to be evaluating their performance. The first young man did a pretty good job making his proposition. The second young man had some good points in rebuttal, but he did not elaborate on them as much as he could have. Also, he didn't follow the A-R-E format.
    Neither team spoke as long as they should have, but for the first guy, I think it was because he was talking so fast. Also, they had only one recording, each.  Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I could not for the life of me get my comments onto the Voicethread. Who knows, I might have recorded and attached too many.
     The best part about the whole thing was that the lead judge the second time around was Nicola Takizawa; her maiden name was Lyons, so we almost have the same name!  :)