Monday, February 10, 2014

Sheila W Melgard 20% Project iSummit MN

iSummit Summary for the Tech Cohort 20% Project
Sheila W Melgard

            I attended the iSummit MN for my 20% project.  The iSummit was based on a camping theme and the different sessions that the attendants could attend were divided into three levels; beginner (car campers), intermediate (base camping) and advanced (alpine camping).  Badges by Credly were rewarded throughout the day based on the participant’s ability to complete certain tasks presented by the session leader.  The badge I earned was for car camping, which tells you where I stand in the world of technology.
            The keynote speaker, Jenny Magiera, was phenomenal.  I loved her analogy between the 3rd Little Pig that was the innovator and how we use technology.  She reinforced my belief that iPads aren't the answer but rather a tool to be used and that we need to focus on how we implement iPads in our daily craft with our students.  In my role as an Instructional Coach I plan on sharing her 3 tips:

1.     Start with the problem of practice.  Determine what needs to be solved.
2.     Cultivate the student’s voice and hook them up with an authentic audience.
3.     Keep it real with authentic learning such as Toontastic which is a great app for creating screen casts.
Bonus Tip-Ms. Mageria reminded us that we all start somewhere and that after we fail; we need to start small and collaborate.  It’s better to learn as a community.

I was completely engaged in her presentation with her use of personal stories, videos
and humor.  The take-away for me from this keynote will be the 3 tips she shared and the fact that we all start somewhere, it’s okay to fail and that it’s best to collaborate and learn as a community.
            The first session I attended was “iPad Refresher” and the presenter was Angie Kalthoff.  Although I knew much of what she was teaching, it boosted my confidence in that I really did understand the layout of the iPad, features of the iPad and the basic settings of my iPad.  Ms. Kalthoff did a nice job of modeling the features and settings of the iPad and then she had us try each iPad feature.  She had us download several free apps (Chirp, Educreations, Fetch!LunchRush, ColAR Mix, Nearpod and ScanLife) and she demonstrated the classroom application of each.  I plan on further exploring each app and then sharing them with the teachers I coach.  A take-away for me from this session was  I think this is a fantastic tool for teachers that don’t want to run the risk of their students seeing inappropriate “related videos” or comments on YouTube. 
            The second session I attended was “Okay I have an iPad for my classroom, now what?”  The presenter, Steve Asper, reviewed the logistics of storing and charging an iPad, features of the keyboard, iPad accounts, apps and projecting.  I learned the most about projecting from this session, although I know I need more hands on time to independently use Apple TV, the apps Reflector and Air Server.  Mr. Asper stated the “camera cannot be underestimated” and that students can be reporters, post to a web page or upload data to a drive for sharing documents.  I plan on looking for another conference or class to dive into using Apple TV or similar tools.
            The 3rd session I attended was “iGoogle: Google Apps on the iPad.”  I knew that going to this session was a stretch for me as it was alpine camping, but I gave it a shot.  Jennie Magiera was the presenter and she moved quickly through steps she wanted us to carry out.  She pretty much lost me within the first five minutes and so I sat back, listened and watched.  She shared apps that allow us to create (Chrome, YouTube Capture, Drive and Blogger), consume ((Books, Google, Earth, YouTube and Translate) and connect (Hangouts, Google+, and Maps).  This session exemplified for me that “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  I realize that I need and want to keep attending technology training.  This is exciting stuff and I don’t want to be left behind.  Even though her presentation style was too quick for me, I left the session motivated to not give up knowing there is so much more for me to learn.
After reviewing the NETS*T Standards, I believe I grew in all 3 areas.  Jenny Mageria and Angie Kalthoff helped me develop a clearer picture of how to Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments and Model Digital-Age Work and Learning.  Ms. Mageria shared that she has developed digital play lists with an interactive video for her students. That is one way she differentiated for her students.  She also had the students literature downloaded on their iPads so students could maintain privacy in regards to their learning level.  Ms. Mageria described her use of authentic assessment using screen casting in a grocery store and cultivating her students’ voices by hooking them up with an authentic audience and gave the example of which is used by students around the world.  She described using technology for metacognition (i.e. Docery, Explain Everything and Educreations), which is something that had never occurred to me.  Angie Kalthoff described how she integrated technology into her daily instruction by using a variety of apps that I mentioned above in her kindergarten for skill development and assessment.  I Engaged in Professional Growth and Leadership by attending the ISummit to meet the 20% Assignment requirements for the Technology Cohort.  I plan to continue to hone my technology skills so that I promote and demonstrate the effective use of digital tools and resources in my profession and personal life.

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