Well day two of ISTE 14 is in the books, and as the Lego movie would say EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!! Well not everything....there were some things that sucked, but that would be the case at everything. Hee I will bless you with my musings on day two. You will get the stuff I thought was awesome, the stuff I thought sucked, and maybe some stuff in between. Remember these thoughts are purely my own, so if you think I suck....so be it
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
1. The edges of the exhibit hall- with the exceptions of Edmodo,Google, I could care less about the big boys in the front of the Hall (I will get to them in the sucks part). The real exhibit hall is on the edges. I found the stuff I LOVE there like Thinglink, Leap Motion, Air Squirrels, Symbaloo (yes they have a good size both but its still not near the so called BIG BOYS, Air Squirrels, and several others. THIS IS THE STUFF I ACTUALLY USE!
2 LESLIE FISHER- I will admit it, I am a fan boy. Her mix of humoR and just plain COOL STUFF, makes her sessions a must see to me. I am so lucky that she comes to GAETC every year
3. ADAM BELLOW- really if you take everything I said about Leslie, you could apply it to Adam. His mix of humor, grat thoughts, and cool stuff makes him a must see. AND GUESS WHAT GA FOLKS????? He is keynoting GAETC this year!
4. The Bloggers Cafe- Want to meet some cool people who are actually building STUFF WE CARE ABOUT, hang out at the Bloggers Cafe for a bit. Plickers, Kaizena, Celly, Remind and many others have been through. They know we love them, but the cost of the exhibit hall is so crazy that they are guerilla marketing the conference. In many ways, I LOVE THEM MORE FOR IT! Tomorrow I plan on stalking TOUCHCAST. They are my absolute new favorite tool
5. HOLY COW BATMAN I ACTUALLY KNOW PEOPLE!!!- When I came to my first ISTE, I was a young fawn in the ed tech game. I had just finished my ed tech masters, just gotten on Twitter, and went to ISTE on a whim. Things Change my friend!. Since 2012, I have been doing presentations all over and attending all kinds of ed tech events. Now I actually have a whole crew of people to hang out with! Thanks ed tech peeps! By the way if someone has not told you already, TRY TO MEET PEOPLE!
THE THINGS THAT SUCKED
1. OH I HATE SAYING THIS, BUT......THE CONGRESS CENTER- I am an ATL boy, but this conference has taught me I HATE the structure of the Congress Center. You would think a place as big as it is would have more than a stair case and an escalatar to get people down one floor! BOTTLE NECK SUCKS!
2. Really again.....yes the lines- I am going to take this time and say I feel bad for the GWCC Starbuks employees. Did they ever stop moving? There was a crazy line there all day, and there was lines everywhere. There is nothing worse than not getting into the session you want. The one thing I wish is that ISTE would spread out more and also use building C. You could also add more sessions giving more options.
3. The Big Boys of the Exhibit Hall- there are some major exceptions to this (Edmodo, Google come to mind), but I don't even look at most of the huge Exhibits in the Middle. Really they fall into three categories: textbooks, projectors, and interactive white boards. This shows that we need a MAJOR shift. The innovators are on the outside ages while we get bombarded by the Textbook Publishers. I like my interactive white board as much as the next guy, but the best innovators in the space Ipevo and Air Squirrels were on the edge. And last but not least, I know you can innovate projectors some, but until I see holograms I am not impressed.
The Somewhere in Between
1. Tablet and Operating System Smackdown- This session had some good stuff in it, but I found it a bit all over the place.
New Tools For the Warchest
1. Delivr- QR Codes you can change what they go to without changing the picture!
2. 81 DASH- very cool discussion tool made by a teacher
3. Pear Deck- a student response system that does so much more
4. Meta Glass- Holy Cow! Look them up online
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! The Things I Look Forward TO
1. Party time- I have three different things to go to tomorrow night! Looking forward to meeting new people!
2. 40 Free Mobile Apps- I do similar presentations so interested to what they are going to show
3. The Big Time Stage- where I hung out most of today. Interested to hear more of the nationlly known speakers
4. The Google Playground- should be a cool place. Very interested to see whats there
5. Touchcast- They are in one of the playgrounds and I can't wai
Well, the first day of ISTE has come and gone, and the Madness has begun. The real nerd prom (sorry White House Correspondent Dinner) is here. The first day was awesome but it did have it's down points (Ashley Judd Anyone). So here is a list of my highs, lows, some where in betweens, and what I am looking forward to tomorrow.
Everything that was AWESOME!!!
1. Registering- Gosh darn it, it is just a high to be there. There is tons of excitement, and the good folks at ISTE made it even better with a Peach Popsicle! Thanks Guys!
2. Meeting New People- Man I met all kinds of new people today, the real hashtag should be #edtechnerdfriends. I got to talk to a school board member, a ed non-profit employee, teachers, admin, tech coaches, and some of my favorite App teams. Even made some new edtech friends @misspelsor #skipping (yes this is an inside joke)
3. Ignite Sessions- man that's a hard act to follow. You had some edtech rock stars rocking it like @MsMagiera. I am already filling the tool box with ideas from those sessions
4. Class Dojo- I got to meet the founder and one of his team members of my favorite apps! Even got to hang out and party with them for a few, and on top of that made some new friends from it. They are an awesome group with a team that listens
Things that SUCKED!
1. Hate to Say it, but Ashley Judd- I know she was a fill in for America Ferrera, but that did not excuse that talk. She was unprepared, did not get to her point, talked about things matter of factfactly that I did not want to hear, and frankly was just DEAD WRONG on some of her advice. Ms Judd, we as teachers have to report any abuse, it is our absolute job to listen, but we are not the ones to ask the questions. If we suspect, we report, and then we let TRAINED pros take it from there. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ISTE forget the big splash and use the ed tech rockstars that are already there. Most of us know them, and we will love them so much more.
2. Lines- Man, I am glad I did not try to go to the IGNITE session as those lines were a mess. I was just fine watching it on the TV. Next year, put the early ones in the same room as the Keynote. Also, please let us know there are arplenty of seats in the Keynote. Waiting in that line was a crazy, when we could have been doing better things like networking
Somewhere in Between
1. Global Ed Symposium- I love the concept, and got some good ideas. I think it could have been a little better organized before hand (I know things happen though), and they need a wider range of presenters
Things to Look Forward to Tomorrow
1. Coffee CUE- I love this concept so going to try to go, but looking at the time it is right now and realizing, I NEED TO GO TO BED!
2. Leslie Fisher Smack-down- It's at 8:30, but always a place to get some cool new tools. Plus she is one of my favorite speakers
3. Adam Bellow's first presentation- Great Speaker, Can't Wait
4. The Opening of the Expo- Very interesting place, but I am noticing many of my favorites are at the conference, but not on the floor. Hit them on Twitter
5. More networking and friends- What's the party tomorrow night?
The Superbowl is finally in Atlanta! The Superbowl of Ed Tech ISTE hits Atlanta this weekend, and I am very excited for it. I went in 2011 to the conference in Philly, and I have marked this date on my calendar ever since. It can be a little tough on my wonderful teacher's salary to go to conferences in San Diego and San Antonio, but now they are finally in my home town.
When I went in 2011, it was an overwhelming experience. You just want to see it all, and be in great sessions all day. There is just not enough time for it. I was a newbie to the ed tech world, and this was baptism by fire. If you worry exclusively about sessions you miss awesome things on the show room floor, and you miss one of the main thing's ISTE is about, networking.
So I thought I would use this blog post to gather my thoughts, add some tips, and maybe in the process organize myself. Here Goes
My Main Tips
1. Watch what you wear- I am from the ATL and the World Congress Center is HUGE. Remember this place hosted multiple Olympic events in the 96 Olympics. It's literally that BIG, and ISTE will take up the whole building. Wear comfortable shoes. If not you will be sorry. Wear Layers. The place is always cold. You might catch me in business casual clothes some of the time because of my night schedule, but for the most part this is a shorts and shirt kind of thing.
2. Pack Light- Again...The world congress center is HUGE. You don't want to be carrying around a huge backpack with all of your wonderful tech gadgets all day. As much as I love my Macbook Pro (those who know me know, I nerd out for Apple), it is probably going to stay home most of the time. This is an Ipad kind of conference.
3. Pack Snacks- Conference food can put a major hurt on a teachers wallet. Pack snacks for the conference. Food is expensive in the Congress Center and you don't want to waste time standing in line for it
4. Pack an Extra Battery / Power Strip- I finally gave in and bought a Morphie power pack for this weekend, and I am going to be so glad I did. Also, extra power strips go a long way. You don't want to be stuck missing stuff because your battery is dead.
5. Plan some time away from sessions- You have to get out there. Meet new people. Meet the companies that are providing the coolest stuff on the show room floor. The sessions are great and all, but make sure you get the right mix.
6. Make sure you see the nationally known speakers- There is a reason they go to conference, after conference and keep getting to go back. They are GOOD. I mean very good. Leslie Fisher and Adam Bellow are two of my favorites, and you will see me at several of their sessions. There are so many more though.
7. Don't Freak if a session is full- There is so much good stuff, find something else that is awesome. You can always ask for that sessions resources on the hashtag #iste2014
8. Don't try to see every booth on the exhibit floor- There are just way to many, and remember they are there to sell their product. You go to them, even if its for a free give away, you are going to get sucked in for a few seconds. If its a product you don't care for, that's precious time wasted.
9. See the exhibit floor though- It is a sight to behold. Almost everyone you would want to meet is at ISTE in some capacity. I think I am going to limit my time in the biggies like Google, Microsoft, Smart, Promethian, and others though. They tend to be the most crowded. Can't nerd out for Apple though, they don't come, because well they don't have to.
10. Search out the Companies you Truly Love- some are at ISTE, but they are not exhibiting. I can't wait to talk to the Class Dojo and Touchcast crew. Contact them on Twitter to see where they will be. Most respond.
11. Seek out special events- There are all kinds of special events going on through out the weekend. Don't let the conference be the only thing you do. Get out there and Network. Look to the twitter hashtag #ISTE2014 for ideas. You will find me at the Starbucks coffee talks with @alicekeeler at least one morning. (They are early, might be more than one if I was not coming from my house)
12. MOST IMPORTANT ONE! VOTE WITH YOUR FEET- YOU PAID ALOT OF MONEY TO BE HERE. IT'S NOT RUDE TO LEAVE A PRESENTATION YOU HATE. MAKE THE EXPERIENCE COUNT
13. OH WAIT! ONE MORE SUPER IMPORTANT! TWITTER! TWITTER! TWITTER!- YOU HAVE TO BE ON THE @ISTE2014 HASHTAG. YOU WILL NOT GET A FULL EXPERIENCE WITHOUT IT. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE TO HELP YOU WITH THIS IF IT'S A STRUGGLE. REMEMBER NETWORKING HERE IS HUGE. TWEET DECK IS A GREAT APP FOR THIS!
The Top Things I Want to See
1. The Google Playground- would love to see me some Glass, and would love to see a demo of Google Classroom
2. The Leslie Fisher Smackdown- I have seen this at GAETC and its an awesome way to get ideas and have some fun. Can't wait to see what the national crowd brings to it. (Jun 29 8:30-9:30)
3. 101 Free Tech Tools for Teachers- We all love free. I also do similar quick hitting presentations, so would love to pick up some new ideas (Jun 29 11-12)
4. 60 in 60 app attack!- I have had some success doing similar presentations. I really want to see it from another perspective (Jun 29 4:15-5:15)
5. The tomorrow toolkit- Great panel of national speakers between Erin Klien, Adam Bellow, and Kyle Pace. A Must see. (1:15-2:15 July 1st)
6. Meeting my favorite companies- Class Dojo, Touchcast, Remind, and Edmodo all on the list. Maybe I will find a few more on the show room floor.
Some ATL Tips
1. Use CNN center for meals- has a major food court with all the restaurants you would want. They are regular price to. You can pay the major price at the conference or simply walk across the street for this.
2. Things to See- Gotta see the World of Coke. No experience like it. If you have a car and some time on the beginning or end of your trip, the Stone Mountain Laser show is really cool. For the history buffs, you can always got to the MLK center and the Jimmy Carter Library. The CNN tour has its appeal to, and it's right across the street from the Conference center.
3. Things to Skip- I would skip the Georgia Aquarium. It's pricey, and you can see cool stuff at other aquariums all over the US. If your in to sea life it could be great, but there is so much other stuff out there
4. Food- I live about 45 minutes into the suburbs, so I am no expert on ATL food. I would however look up BBQ and Soul Food spots. There are some great ones downtown. Also, make sure you go to the Varsity. It's an experience.
Summer Series: Getting In Shape
Well, summer is here. We as teachers all have a little time to breathe. We also are getting away from all the food freebies that school brings. Many time those things are bad for you. This summer I wanted to get in shape, and I stumbled across something that I wanted to share because it has really made a difference in the way I look and feel. Hopefully, the good vibes will continue into the next school year.
I am a former football player and wrestler, as well as a former coach of both. That means I am used to hard work and being fairly active, but unfortunately all those years of contact sports have taken a toll. I have a bad back, and many other body parts hurt on a regular basis. I had been walking (I hate running, and it hurts) and lifting weights, but it was not really doing the trick. About a year ago, I also more than likely tore my labrum lifting weights. It put me in a possession where all I could do was walk. It was downright disappointing.
Right before the end of school, I stumbled across a program called DDP Yoga. His advertisements of in-home exercise and low impact on joints was very appealing. I got the DVD's, and I was amazed at what I found. The program is really a combination of Yoga, Rehab Moves, and Resistance Exercises. DDP cuts out all the crazy spiritual stuff out of yoga. He also makes these workouts accessible to everyone through modifications. He really takes you through everything like a coach, which was so appealing to me. He makes it ok to be a guy and doing this program. I tried it for the first few days, and then I got my wife involved. We now do this together on a nightly basis. I am down weight, have more energy, and ha
I hate people who stump for products, but this is the one product I have come to believe in. I promise I am getting no money from them. I figured I would write this post because I know I am not the only educator out there who needs this. If you really want to see what it can do watch the video below
The flip is dead. It's not the answer, but some of it's principals are good. The answer is really blended learning. The whole principal of a flipped classroom is to move it to student-centered learning environment. That's the principal that every teacher should keep. Where the flipped classroom needs a change, is the fact we have to rely on students to complete work at home. We are at a place in education where we have to work around homework. We can't let students fall behind because they don't have the resources at home or because they won't do work at home.
That's why blended learning is the answer. I have tried both, and you can't completly cut the cord from the teacher centered classroom. Students need some of that direction. They also have to have time in class to get the base content because some don't have the resources and some won't do work at home no matter what you do. Blended is the middle between old and new, and it's the answer.
Student's need to continue to have some type of in class notes/lecture, but they also need the student centered approach. So basically, you put the lecture videos online, but you also have an in-class option for them. As I started the flipped approach, I realized that some students missed the in-class lecture. By time they get to high school, they are so trained in the teacher-centered approach that it is a hard adjustment. I also came to the conclusion that you need some in class lecture in order to prepare students for college. You have to ease students in slowly. So you start with the teacher student lectures, and you ease them in to having the flipped approach as an option while continuing to have the inclass option.
Where the flipped is good is the fact that it really relies on a student centered approach. While you still have to have the inclass lecture option, you can still turn your classroom in to a project based differentiated classroom. The biggest way to do that is give students options, and by offering both the in-class
What is this thing to the left? It's called a Myo and it could revolutionize the classroom. The biggest issue with any technology in the classroom is being mobile and being able to to see what students are doing. Myo revolutionizes that. It is a wristband that allows you to perform numerous actions from a far.
Myo motion control and gesture control armband bracelet uses arm muscle activity and EMG signals to control digital devices over Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. Basically, you program the braclet to perform certain functions when you move your arm. Based on your arm muscle activity it complets those functions on your computer. It can do things like move slide, stop and start videos and music, open programs, and many more. It is also being developed to work with video game systems, remote control vehicles, and many more technology pieces.
This could be a great tool in education. You can present and control your computer remotley without even looking down. You can perfom more than one function with it, without even going near your computer. This would also be a great tool to show off and use when doing professional development talks. Maybe I will get luck and Myo will send me one to show off during my ed tech presentations.