Screencasting 101 available on my workshops page.
For me, the two general conference days were spent focusing on a few featured speakers as well as topics that I know will be of importance in our future at ETHS. Specifically, I observed sessions focusing on iPad deployment, SMARTBoard lessons, and Digital Storytelling. All of my notes are available via CoverItLive. Following the jump are a few important takeaways overall.
District 214 shared their deployment process for iPads over the past two years. They are transitioning towards a 1:1 program over the course of the next few years, and it was interesting to hear about the ups (mostly) and downs of their experience. I liked hearing not just about "cool apps", but how the devices are causing transformation within the classroom. I also believe that the power of having iPads in the classroom are most observable when they are in the hands of the students and not just one device for a single teacher.
As I continue working with several of our teachers on improving SMARTBoard integration into their classrooms, I am always on the lookout for new tips, tricks, and strategies to create transformative Notebook lessons. Three teachers from Francis Parker provided a nice presentation where they shared resources that they were using along with the notebook file of their presentation.
I saw Jon Orech a few times (3 out of the 4 times he presented on Friday if you're keeping score), and picked up a bunch of good nuggets regarding Digital Storytelling. I learned and wholeheartedly agree that Animoto videos are not a good example of storytelling. Jon shared a number of examples from his "Digital Quill" as well as the "Seven Elements of Digital Stories" which will prove to be useful in future projects.
He shared an interesting (and editable) Google Doc that set the tone for a conversation presentation on whether the tech tools that we discuss so often help improve student achievement. Also, during the same presentation, he shared a useful link that highlights several changes in structure that re-examine how technology is used in the classroom to not just integrate but rather redefine the classroom as a place that is ultimately more student centered.
On Friday, I also had the pleasure of experiencing a presentation by Katie Morrow. This was a fast paced, high energy session in the Zanies Comedy Club (natch) where I was inspired to really plug for our teachers to use our Mac Media lab to design student projects and incorporate more media from simple Photo Booth projects to a full iMovie production. Lots of great resources shared (check my notes for more links) including one for a Stop Motion app for the Mac.
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