I spent this morning with educators from all over the world and I loved it!!! We talked about sites and resources that we can use to help make our lives easier, make our students more engaged and provide a platform for our students to share their work. We met online and we talked, laughed, inspired and engaged one another. Fingers typed out comments in the chatroom, shared examples of student/teacher work and clicked links to register for new online tools. It was a good morning.
It started out with a freestyle rap from the musical guest Jason Levine @FluencyMC. He reminded us that it is okay to be silly. It is okay to laugh. It is okay to do something that might get you laughed at. My 11 year old daughter laughed at the man on the screen rapping to her about … foolishness as he tried to rhyme words that were thrown out to him. But she also recognized the power that having this sense of the absurd can have in a classroom with a teacher who is willing to connect with students and promote learning.
Next up was the keynote speaker, Steven Anderson and his two girls. His two girls were not actually presenting with him but they were discussed as a reminder to all of us that we must teach to our children in the ways and using the methods that they have become accustomed to using. Even if that means we have to be willing to purchase an iPad Pottyseat. *(Not that anyone is saying that we, parents or teachers, will actually need to buy one but it is important to realize that technology has become so ingrained in our lives that … it will be a purchase made by many.) Steven helped to continue the conversation about the reasonableness of telling them to totally shut offf their devices when at school. Last week, I laughed at the young Chrisley children, Savannah and Chase, when they melted down when their dad took their phones. They were serious when they said that they wake up in the mornings expecting to see their friend, their cellphone, on their pillow. If a cellphone is their friend, how are they supposed to act when we rip them away!?!?!?
The Inspire Presentations were 5 minute sessions in which we talked about sessions we presented at Reform Symposium 4 or sessions that we intend to present at Reform Symposium 5. We heard from:
André J. Spang, Germany, @Tastenspieler
Title: Be a Maker not a taker!
Sue Beckingham, UK, @SueBecks
Title: Why you need a professional online presence and how to do it!
Eva Buyuksimkesyan, Turkey, @Evab2001
Title: Flip Quiz
Sylvia Guinan, Greece, @ESLBrain
Title: Brainfriendly ways to help students memorise language creatively
Matthew Miller, Egypt, @matthewm1970
Title: Playing to RAMP up learning
Paige Hale, US
Title: Working together: Apps and tools for collaboratively building students’ writing skills
Valerie Burton, US, @MsBisOnline
Title: Publish your ePortfolio using Weebly
Jackie Gerstein, US, @JackieGerstein
Title: STEAM and Maker Education: Inclusive, Engaging, Self-Differentiating
Here is a PDF file of our presentation slides.
We closed out today’s day of learning with a Smackdown session in which we took 2 minutes to show off tools, sites and resources that we think of as ‘must haves.’ Some of the sites that we shared were ThingLink, Smore, Google World Calendar, PrintFriendly, Tagboard, Kidblog and NewsEla. Here are slides from that share session.
All in All, it was a good morning. I spent time with my online friends talking, sharing and being inspired. Can’t wait for the 2nd mini-con on May 4th, 2014 and the next Reform Symposium Conference, RSCON5, that will take place July 11-13th, 2014 and feature 60+presentations, 2 plenaries, 10 keynotes, student presenters, a tech/app/lesson smackdown, and the EdInspire Awards Ceremony.
Thanks so much to Conference Organizers:
Shelly Sanchez Terrell, Peggy George, Chiew Pang, Marcia, Lima, Steve Hargadon and Amy Brinkley