Primary Tech

Archives for Conferences

ISTE 2012 – What an Experience!

Six weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to win the Victorian Teachers Mutual Bank Outstanding Primary Teacher Award. This award has partially allowed me to attend the ISTE conference in San Diego, California and meet some of my international blogging buddies face to face.

Meeting Mrs Yollis!

When I arrived in the USA, my long term blogging buddy, Linda Yollis, was there to pick me up from the airport. It was truly amazing to meet one of my closest blogging buddies face to face.

2012 is the fourth year that our classes have been collaborating through blogging, Skype and global projects. This relationship has connected eight cohorts of students, and many amazing friendships and learning outcomes have been achieved.

Linda is a very experienced and enthusiastic teacher who has been a mentor to me in many ways. Over the last few years I have adopted so many of her ideas and received some great feedback and advice from my blogging buddy.

Our friendship developed through the internet, although when we met, Linda and I got along like old friends. We spent many late nights discussing education and sharing ideas.

It was wonderful to meet many of the parents and students that I had connected with through blogging. It was also a surreal experience to visit Linda’s school after seeing it so many times in photos, videos and over Skype.

ISTE 2012 

The annual ISTE conference is said to be the world’s biggest ‘ed tech’ convention, and it was certainly far bigger than anything I had ever experienced. This year was the 33rd conference. The host city, San Diego, came alive with enthusiastic teachers who were ready to learn, network and discover new ideas.

The theme of the event was ‘expanding horizons’. I can safely say my horizons were expanded. I attended so many great sessions and had countless enriching conversations with dynamic educators. I left ISTE with many new ideas and deeper friendships within the global education community.

Linda and I presented a session at ISTE called ‘Educational Blogging: Flattening Classroom Walls’. We really appreciated the feedback we got on our session from teachers in the audience. It was great to hear that they enjoyed our story and were encouraged to begin their own journeys with blogging and global collaboration.

It was fabulous to meet up with so many people face to face who I had got to know online over many years. Fantastic friendships can be developed through blogging and Twitter. Meeting those friends face to face is the icing on the cake.

Ronnie Burt, Julie Hembree, me and Linda Yollis

It’s going to take me quite some time to process everything I experienced. Overall, ISTE was a real whirlwind with sessions and events from early in the morning until late at night.

I recommend thinking about attending ISTE 2013 in San Anotonio, Texas!

Read more

As my USA journey continues, I look forward to continue learning and connecting. If you want to read more about my experiences at ISTE and visit with Linda Yollis, there are a few more posts you can check out.

4KM and 4KJ Blog – I wrote a post for my students on my class blog.

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog – Linda wrote a post about my visit on her class blog.

The Edublogger – Linda and I wrote a guest post for the Edublogger blog about our presentation at ISTE.

Eight Weeks ’til ISTE!

Today marks eight weeks until I’ll be at ISTE!

For those who haven’t heard, ISTE is the International Society of Technology in Education‘s Annual Conference. The conference is one of the world’s biggest for educational technology and this year it will be held in San Diego. There will be over 700 sessions held over four days, and a plethora of networking and sharing amongst thousands of educators.

It was Linda Yollis’ idea for us to present together at ISTE. We applied last year and when our application was successful we began making plans for our trip to San Diego.

My students have been working with Linda Yollis and her class since early 2009. They were our first real blogging buddies and we have worked on many collaborative projects together. We feel like we know each other well but have never met in person!

Our session is called Educational Blogging: Flattening Classroom Walls! We look forward to sharing how we use blogging to drive global collaboration in our classrooms.

We hope if you’re attending ISTE, you’ll add our sessions to your conference planner.

There are many members of my PLN who I look forward to meeting at ISTE and some fantastic sessions that I am excited to attend.

Thanks to Tracy Watanabe who also shared the details for ISTE Unplugged; the “fringe festival” of the ISTE conference.

Please leave a comment if you’re attending ISTE. What are you looking forward to?

Have you attended ISTE before? Do you have any tips?

Doing Things the Long Way

In many ways, technology can be time saving. Especially if you know the best way to use it!

Yesterday I attended and presented at the 2011 VITTA (Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association) Conference.

One of the sessions I attended was run by Andrew and Beverly from Mitcham Primary School. They gave a terrific presentation about using iPads in the junior primary classroom.

I learnt so much, but one of the simplest tips I took away was that you can sync more than one iPod/iPad at a time. The number of iDevices you can sync is simply limited to the number of USB ports you have.

This is the fourth year I have been using iPod Touches in the classroom and I can’t begin to imagine how many hours I have wasted by syncing the iPods one by one. At one stage I was in charge of updating eight iPod Touches which I did one at a time. I never thought to try to plug more than one in!

idea

Today I was thinking about how people can go on for a very long time doing things the long way with technology. It’s not until you either try to find an easier way or someone tells you that you realise how easy something could be!

I recently informed another teacher that they didn’t have to type in a URL every time they wanted to visit a site, they could simply save it to favourites/bookmarks. This simple tip which is obvious to most of us made this teacher’s day!

I think it is important that we create a culture of sharing not only with our staff but with our students. I like to explicitly teach my students ICT skills, but I also encourage them to share their tips and discoveries with their peers.

If we have a culture of sharing, perhaps we’ll save too many people from “doing things the long way”!

What is something that you used to do the long way until you realised there was a simpler way?

Image attribution: ‘Who Else Has A Bright Idea?’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/27954776@N04/3168683736

RSCON3 – Collaborating with Global Blogging Buddies

Want to learn about how my students and I have connected with blogging buddies around the world?

As I have blogged about here, RSCON3 is the third Reform Symposium e-conference for educators.

It is 100% free and is scheduled to be held on July 30th – August 1st, 2011.

My presentation – Connecting with Global Blogging Buddies

Time – 10:30am Saturday 30th July (GMT+10 Melbourne time). Click here to find out what time this is for you.

Where - The session will be held online in Elluminate. Don’t worry if you haven’t used Elluminate before, it’s very straightforward and we’ll help you out. Click on this link to join the room.

Summary - One of the most exciting aspects of educational blogging is making global connections. In this presentation I will discuss how my grade two class came to have many blogging buddies around the world who we collaborate with regularly.

Please spread the word about RSCON3! You can find out about all the other fabulous sessions being held this weekend here.

RSCON3

Will you be attending RSCON3?

RSCON3 – Free PD in your PJs!

Want the chance to be inspired by education professionals from around the world while relaxing in your PJs?

RSCON3 is the third Reform Symposium e-conference for educators.

It is 100% free and is scheduled to be held on July 30th – August 1st, 2011.

RSCON3 will focus on interactive presentations that help teachers create engaging and motivating lessons, build relationships with students, engage parents, integrate technology effectively and much more.

This event is suitable for anyone with an interest in education.

RSCON3

My presentation – Connecting with Global Blogging Buddies

Time – 10:30am Saturday 30th July (GMT+10 time). Click here to find out what time this is for you.

Summary - One of the most exciting aspects of educational blogging is making global connections. In this presentation I will discuss how my grade two class came to have many blogging buddies around the world who we collaborate with regularly.

Five things you can do:

  • Visit the Reform Symposium website to register, check out the schedule, presenters and more.
  • Write the time for my presentation in your calender. Click here to find out what time this is for you.
  • Tweet about the conference using the #RSCON3 hashtag. Click here to follow #RSCON3
  • Get a badge for your blog, Facebook, Twitter profile or website to say you are attending RSCON3.
  • Let the staff at your school know about RSCON3. You could email them the link to this post or print off/email this flyer.

What are you looking forward to at RSCON3?

Two Victorian Conferences

My team teaching partner, Kelly Jordan, and I have been accepted to present at two conferences in Melbourne in May.

As many of you know, Kelly and I have been blogging with our primary classes since 2008 and it is something we are passionate about after seeing so many benefits.

In our presentations, we plan to cover topics such as:

• How to get starting with blogging
• How students react to blogging
• The many benefits of blogging
• How to incorporate blogging into the curriculum
• How to address internet safety issues
• How to use blogging to flatten classroom walls and build global connections and projects
• Some of the web 2.0 tools that can be incorporated into blogging
Tips for better blogging

DEECD INNOVATIONS SHOWCASE

“This annual event features Victoria’s most forward thinking practitioners who will share the innovations making a difference in their settings.”

WHEN: Friday 13th May 2011

WHERE: Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf

COST: Free *hurry, limited places available!

WEBSITE: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/showcase/default.htm

ICTEV2011 STATE CONFERENCE: IN TOUCH

“ICTEV’s 2011 conference aims to put you in touch with educational colleagues who will enthuse and inspire you to integrate technologies in your learning and teaching.”

WHEN: Saturday 21st May 2011

WHERE: Melbourne Grammar School, Wadhurst Campus, Domain Road, Melbourne

COST: $70 pre-service teachers, $180/$230 ICTEV member, $279 non ICTEV members

WEBSITE: http://ictev.vic.edu.au/conferences

Kathleen, Leo and Kelly

Here is Kelly (right) and me with the third member of our teaching team – our class mascot, Leo!

Will you be attending either of these conferences?

What do you think makes a good conference?