My head is pulsating with many ideas that I gathered today at the Edscape Conference in New Milford, New Jersey. The idea around the conference is to “bring together passionate educators who firmly believe that innovation is essential to increasing student engagement and achievement.”
The Cool Cat Teacher and co-founder of Flat Classrooms, Vicki Davis, kicked off the morning with a keynote that was heartfelt, empowering, and engaging speech. One of the things that she said is that “the most important A in your classroom is your ATT-I-TUDE. She spoke of building learning pathways and getting students involved in the evolution of technology integration in your classroom. As teachers, we need to find meaning and encourage others so that we can set ourselves up for serendipity. Davis shared personal stories of her studies and stressed upon teachers to encourage strengths in every child. Students are more than numbers and test scores. “We are not making copies, we’re making originals.”
There were workshops galore following the keynote. I attended one on Edmodo, Evernote & Livebinders: Websites that can Transform Learning in all types of classrooms presented by Media Specialist, Elissa Malespina and teacher, Melissa Butler of South Orange Middle School (my hometown!). I am very interested in this moleskin paper notebook from Evernote that lets you take physical notes and then take a picture of the notes to upload and transcribe directly to Evernote. Very cool!
Edmodo was also brought up in the next workshop I attended, Web Tools for Interactive Classrooms. Since the conference was sponsored by Teq, the Teq staff offered many workshops throughout the day. One I attended was on Using Your Smartboard to Support Achievement of CCLS. I learned a few little SMARTboard tricks and recommend SMARTBoard users to check out the awesome resources and lessons on Teq’s website.
The final workshop I attended was on Connecting Kids & Teachers Across the Globe which is a project that I am looking to set up. I hope to connect with the Japan Society this spring to do a global project between my middle school students and students in Japan. More information about that will be in future posts. The global projects and ideas presented by art teacher, Tim Needles were great and I might even steal a few to use with my students.
An amazing day overall, and I hope the links that I provide in this post will give you more information and some inspiring ideas to bring into your classroom.