Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ISTE Day 1 Reflection

Okay, so technically it is already the start of day 2, but seeing as I showed up for day 2 almost two hours early, I'm going to take this time to sit back and reflect on some of the highlights of yesterday.

BYOD: Actively Engage Students in Content and Practices with Interactive Simulations
This session was one of the paid BYOD I was able to get into with my ISTE membership and conference payment. It took a deeper dive into the PhET Interactive Simulations offered by the University of Colorado Boulder. I've used this website before but only for Science Simulations. Since I teach elementary I never found many of them super helpful, but this session opened my eyes up to the math simulations they run. There was a mother lode here of information and these are for sure things I'm going to use.

From Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership, Empowering Leaders through Social Media
Hands down the best session so far. George Couros presented a compelling case for why we need to teach the generation how to use the web and Social Media and not just what not to do. All of our students know what they shouldn't do, and it's time for us to step up and take it further. He spoke about how every child has a voice these days, and we need to teach them how to use that voice and to empower that voice. 

I really loved several of the quotes he used, for example, "Literacy is not just about "reading and writing", it is about creating new opportunities." This is mind blowing for me. Literacy does not have to be a stand alone activity. It can be something we engage in together and an activity which makes the world a better place.

Another quote I loved was, "Death, life, sadness, and happiness. All of which makes us human." Our online personas are who we are. This stuck me profoundly because I have several strong online relationships and connections with people I have never met. These are rich and loving friendships that it would hurt to lose as much as it would to lose a friend I connect with face to face. Couros validated those friendships for me and I want to in turn make sure that my students understand the value of digital relationships and are able to create, maintain, and deepen them in a positive manner.

This morning I was had a brief conversation with some other educators from Jefferson County and they recommended George Couros' book, The Innovators Mindset. I have some reading to do!

I didn't take as many notes for these sessions because they were so fast paced and crowded. I'm also not the loudest voice in the crowd, so I did more listening than talking and interacting. But these are what I hit:
Sometimes you just hear things in passing, here are a few.
  • Big Six Research Method : http://big6.com/ (Something I'm going to look into)
  • Create a portal for students of resources and databases. Then help parents also know how to use them.

Sitting here it's now 8:10 on and I'm excited for a chance to do Day 2!

Locations of Site Visitors