Today I attended the Edscape Conference at New Milford High School in New Milford, NJ. If you participate in #Satchat or the 140Characters Conference you might know many of the innovative educators presenting at Edscape, sharing ideas about innovation, collaboration, and transformative teaching and learning practices. The conference is organized by principal, Eric Sheninger of New Milford High School and Teq. Throughout the day I was inspired, made connections, and collaborated and networked with many educators.
Here are a few things that I am going to as a result of the conference when I go back to my classroom on Monday morning:
1. “Be More Dog”
George Couros, principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning with Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada kicked off the conference with a hilarious and meaningful keynote. He spoke about meaningful creation, disrupting our routine, and allowing our students the opportunities to do the extraordinary.
2. Create a Paperless Digital Classroom
Each year I challenge myself to use less paper and teacher at NMHS, Vikki Smith, shared how she has gone completely paperless in her High School science class this year by using Nearpod, Edmodo, mobile devices, and Classmarker. Class wikis, blogs, and Google Drive are also great tools to help reduce the amount of paper used in schools for worksheets, and handouts. I am going to try out the Classmarker for creating and administering a quiz this month.
3. Participate in the Global Collaborator Network
This fall my middle school students are participating in the global collaborative project “Digitween” created by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis of the Flat Classroom Project. The project centers around digital citizenship. But digital citizenship is not one lesson that is taught one day. Rather, teaching digital citizenship is ongoing so that my students understand their responsibility as a global citizen. Bill Krakower and other teachers of the Global Collaborator Network shared many more global collaborative projects that teachers and students can participate in.
4. Allow Opportunities for Voice, Choice, and Authentic Audience
The assessments and projects that my students do in my class need to matter in life, not just in school. Dr. Robert Dillon addressed how voice, choice, and authentic audience need to be central to learning. These three elements are the keys to engagement and integration.
5. Use Twitter for Reading Comprehension and Literary Analysis
Teacher Matthew Morone shared his experiences with his class using Twitter as a tool in his English classroom. As my students are reading we will try out Twitter as a web tool to record observations, define terms, decipher allusions, apply critical theories, argue claims, and justify connections with others.