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My brain is full!

The annual International Society for Technology in Education conference was this weekend.  To describe it in a word, amazing! I learned so much in the past week, from so many of my educational technology heroes. Ruben Puentedura and Chris Lehmann were both amazing to listen to.  Hearing about the SAMR model from the creator of the model was a great experience.

Twitter is the largest Professional Learning Network (PLN) for any educator. Halfway through the conference, educators had shared 1.3 million thoughts and resources with each other using the hashtag #ISTE2014.  Here are some of my favorite tweets and thoughts from the conference.

This thought is always an important one.  It’s always important to remember that education isn’t about the device a student has, or the program that we use.  Education is about building positive relationships with kids and empowering them to chase their passions.

Most places treat digital citizenship as a checkbox.  The school puts on a short presentation, and then they have covered what they needed to for the state for Digital Citizenship.

We really need to focus on allowing students the ability to learn to be great citizens, whether that is on a computer or face to face.  That takes practice, and sometimes, failure.

The power of students who follow their passions will amaze you.  See the video below to learn about a student who took charge of his learning outside of the school day.

When you think back to your experience in school, you don’t really think about how amazing your 100 question Scantron final in Geography was, do you? The same is true today.  While there is a time and a place for a quick check for base level knowledge, we need to spend more time asking the questions that can’t be answered by filling in a bubble on a sheet.

These next few Tweets come from a leadership session that Chris Lehmann put on.  He is the Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. This was the best session I attended all week.

This statement is something that every person in a school who is really comfortable with inquiry based learning and utilizing technology needs to always remember.  Being a teacher is different than any other profession because it is a part of our identity.  When we introduce ourselves to someone, we don’t just say, ‘Hi, my name is Bob, and I work at St. Lawrence Elementary School.’ Instead, we would say, ‘Hi, my name is Bob, and I’m a teacher at St. Lawrence Elementary School.’  That is very different than how people identify in other professions.  I even do this! When I introduce myself, especially to other educators, I say I’m the Director of Technology and eLearning Services for LCSS AND I was a teacher before that.

This is really because being a teacher is a part of who we are.  We have to remember that when we push new changes into the classroom, if a teacher doesn’t feel comfortable with it right away, they can feel like their identity is under attack. I am going to make a focused effort to remember this in my teaching and working with our LCSS educators.

What are the projects or things that you do in your classroom that are your favorite thing to do, but may not be relevant anymore?  What are the things that you force your students to do because it is just what you are good at?  We all have those things.  I know when I was teaching PE, I was really good at teaching line dancing.  I taught the Cupid Shuffle and the Electric Slide.  I did this because I was really comfortable with those two dances.  I wonder if I would still be teaching those two dances, or would I have moved on to a newer line dance?

As educators, we have to realize that in today’s world, there isn’t a “one best way” of doing things.  We need to let our students have voice and choice in the end result of what they are doing.

This is important to me, because it’s hard for me to follow.  It is really important for us to not be afraid of someone teaching a lesson better than we do, or being more proficient with technology than we are.  We need to embrace that and learn from those people.

I am sharing this post with you just to show you the power of networking.  The person I am standing next to in the picture works for a product called Cel.ly.  It’s a great way to communicate with students safely using text messaging.  We we’re talking for about 20 minutes about his product when I remembered that when Cel.ly first came out a few years ago, I had made a video about it for one of the teachers at the High School I was working for.

I told him about the video and he remembered it like it was yesterday! He is from Portland, Oregon and we just happened to run into each other at the conference.  It was incredible to experience how connected our education community is.  The video I made is below.

Kevin Carroll is an amazing speaker.  He gave the Keynote address on Monday.  His message was incredible to listen to.  I have posted a short clip of his speech below.

It is important for us to all realize that we are shaped by someone.  There are people who have a tremendous impact on our lives.  As educators, we need to realize this is happening all the time.  You have the opportunity to change a student’s life.

I love this quote.  Don’t be someone who talks a big game, but doesn’t take any action.  Take action.  Don’t talk about it, be about it.

This statement is incredibly powerful.  We have to be fearless when we come up with an idea.  Even if you don’t know anything about the idea, go after it.  We are in a world where you can learn anything at any time.  We need to chase those ideas, and empower our students to chase their ideas.

ISTE was a tremendous experience for myself, and all of the other educators that attended.  I had the chance to reflect on day one of the conference with some other area Lafayette administrators.  You can find that below.

4 thoughts on “#ISTE2014

  1. Wow. You are demonstrating great networking skills – which will no doubt enhance what you contribute to LCSS. Thanks for all the great info – these are exciting times!

  2. Great, thought-provoking quotes in this blog Joe! More than a few made me chuckle, but the philosophy behind the ideas – go for it and follow your passion – is serious and powerful! Also hope you had a little fun in Hot-lanta!

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