One of the highlights of my summer is attending a technology conference hosted by one of our local high schools.
Over the years, the conference really has grown. Last year, the seating was ridiculous—people were standing and even sitting on the floor or up on counters in classrooms. Forget about the keynote sessions; not even standing room there! This year the conference organizers decided to limit the number of participants. Several of the teachers in our school were up early the morning registration opened to make sure we could all sign up!
There’s always such a wealth of information presented at this technology conference. Many different types of sessions are available, varying from using iPads® in the classroom to blogging to making the flipped classroom style work.
Last year I concentrated on learning about educational apps for the iPad. I learned about many of the apps I used this past year including Face Talk, Tellagami, Skitch-Snap. Mark Up. Send, and Pic Collage.
This year I tried some different sessions. The first was a workshop that covered online lesson planning using Planbook.com™. I already have my plans in documents on my computer, which allows me to use my lesson plans from year to year, but Planbook.com takes it to another level. For a small yearly fee, you can develop schedules for each class that can be adjusted by day; you can view/print lessons by day, week, or class; and you can attach files and links. Everything can be shared with other teachers and even your students (at least what you choose to share with them). If you are working within the public school system, you can even connect to national, state, and local standards.
I also attended a workshop called Videos Galore that presented many interesting websites that I look forward to trying out. First, there was brainybetty.com, which has loads of free PowerPoint presentation templates. Magisto® and Stupeflix™ allow you to make videos of your classroom activities. Animoto was also presented. I was familiar with that one since I used it a lot this past year to document activities in my classroom. Parents seemed to really enjoy the video clips I sent home.
I also attended a very detailed session that presented the use of the iMovie® app. I found this quite helpful since my attempt to use iMovie in my classroom this year was an epic fail. After I listened to the information and practiced during the presentation, I believe I am confident enough to try again to use it with students.
I love to learn new tools to enhance my teaching.
Are you able to take any time during the summer to be a student yourself and learn about things you may find helpful in your classroom?