Tuesday, March 11, 2014

20% Project: Attending iSummit MN, 7771, Susan Tewksbury

Technology Cohort 20% Project
Susan Tewksbury

     For my 20% project I attended the iSummitMN on February 1, 2014.  I appreciated that the format of the summit allowed for differentiation for participants.  A camping theme was used for the summit.   Attendants could choose their level of expertise (or not) and attend sessions based on three different levels;   Car Campers (beginners), Car Campers (intermediate) and Alpine Campers (advanced).  Though I found myself inspired and in awe of the Alpine Campers, I was most comfortable camping in a car.  Throughout the day campers could earn badges by Credly based on the participant’s ability to complete certain tasks presented by the session leaders.
     The summit keynote speaker was Jennie Magiera from Chicago Public Schools.  Jennie was a dynamic, engaged speaker.  She made an analogy between technology and the Three Little Pigs.  The third pig was the innovator, he did not just do what the other pigs had done before him, but rather he changed his thinking and tried something different.  Technology can be viewed in the same way, we can have all the technological tools in the world, but they are useless unless we change the way we are teaching and the way we use technology. Technology is just another tool, we need to be purposeful in how we are using the tool.  Ms. Mageria had many examples of how she personally has used technology and in particular iPads in the classroom.  She shared that a trend in education right now is the Flipped Classroom, which Chicago Public Schools calls, "Cloning the Teacher."  This allows the teacher to work among students rather than standing in front of the class lecturing.  It also allows learning to happen anytime and anywhere.  iPads allow students to maintain their privacy while working independently at their learning level. This also allows teachers to create their own content for students.  iPads can assit with unveiling meta cognition and build authentic learning situations for students.  This gives student a voice and allows them to connect with the world.  Jennie challenged us to start somewhere, learn from our failures and work as a community.
    The remainder of the summit consisted of four sessions with a variety of topics to choose from at our individual level.  I was to spend most of my day as a Car Camper.

Session 1:  iPad Refresher presented by Angie Kalthoff, St. Cloud Public Schools
This presentation was about the basics of owning and operating an iPad. Angie walked us through the basics beginning with the layout of an iPad, basic features, apps and how to personalize iPads.  I knew most of the information Angie presented by I did learn a few tricks such as;  how to AirDrop a photo,  free apps (GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie) and SafeShare TV.  This is a tool for teachers to keep students from being exposed to inappropriate videos and or comments on You Tube.  We downloaded several free apps (Chirp, Educreations, Fetch!LunchRush, ColAR Mix, Nearpod and ScanLife) and Angie demonstrated the classroom application of each.  I plan on further exploring Educreations, ColAR Mix, QR Codes for Sight Words and Fetch!LunchRush.   

Session 2:  OK, I Have an iPad for my Classroom, Now What?!? presented by Steve Asper, White Bear Lake Schools
This presentation shared information about the logistics of storing and charging iPads, how to access wireless connections, the ins and outs of purchasing apps and using the iPad to project using Apple TV, Apps-reflector and an air server.  Though I found this interesting, in my current teaching position I am not using iPads to project as I teach small groups and individuals.  I love the idea of projecting which allows teachers to move about their teaching space, engage students and project student work.  Steve stressed that we cannot underestimate the talents of our students.  They need to be reporters and behind the camera.  This is a challenge I want to take on.

Session 3:  Elementary Engagement, presented by Angie Kalthoff, St. Cloud Public Schools
I attended this session as I found Angie's previous presentation engaging.  We spent the hour "playing" and trying multiple apps.  I am intrigued by using QR codes.  Angie shared how she used them while working with English Language Learners.  That population is similar to the students I work with.  We explored Educreations, Nearpod, Chirp and Explain Everything more in depth this session.  I also downloaded Record of Reading which is an app to collect data from reading running records for students.  I am excited about this as I plan on incorporating this into my final integrated project on reading fluency and comprehension.

Session 4:  iGoogle:  Google Apps on the iPad, presented by Jennie Magiera, Chicago Public Schools.  
This session was clearly over my head, as it was for Alpine Campers.  I had found Jennie to be so engaging during the Keynote that I gave it a try.  Not only was this over my head, but I had technology issues.  My iPad battery ran out so I tried to keep up with the class using my iPhone.  I was not very successful.  As Jennie and the other participants whizzed through apps and programs, I observed, felt like a student with special needs, but realized that though I have learned so much already about technology, my learning curve is huge! Some of the programs and apps Jeannie talked about and demonstrated were somewhat familiar to me; You Tube Capture, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google+ and Blogger.

     iSummitMN closed with an "Appy Hour."  This was a fun way to share our "take aways."  Everyone was able to share something they learned during the day and were excited to use in  the future.

     When I reflect on the day, and review NETS*T Standards I believe I gained an awareness and knowledge in all three areas.  

  • Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
     I am using the app Record of Reading for gathering fluency data and Educreations and Toontastics for students to demonstrate comprehension by summarizing or providing a visual image of what they have read.  Both of these areas align with my Student Learning Goal and the standards I am working on as part of my Integrated Project.  I have not designed an assessment using Kahoot!, but that is on my TO DO list as well.

  • Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
   As I am teaching my students new reading fluency and comprehension strategies I am modeling expectations and the use of different tools.  I have already used digital thinking maps for comparing and contrasting, (Double Bubble Maps and Venn Diagrams), recording reading to measure fluency using Record of Reading and Audioboo to demonstrate recording independent reading. As I explore other apps and uses of technology I will continue to model for my students.

  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
     By attending iSummitMN I spent eight hours engaging in professional growth.  Since attending the summit, I have spent additional hours exploring and researching several of the apps and programs mentioned during the summit.   I have also spent some of our Professional Learning Community time each week to share with my team what I have learned through my exploring, what I learned from the summit and what I am learning from the Technology Cohort.


1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know, that we just released a new Record of Reading app update with some great new features. Check it out if you get a chance. We'd love to get feedback from teachers like yourself.