Shall we make this journey to get caught up on all my saved Feedly posts a trilogy? It will probably be more.
We reach the "summer" months with a post by Jacqui over at Ask A Tech Teacher. Jacqui writes about the 7 Must-have Tools for Ed Conferences. Now, I love Ed Conferences. I'm at one right now (CATE).
- Her first suggestion is a navigation app on your phone. She suggests WAZE, and I agree, but I would also have a backup like Google Maps. Depending on the conference, you may need to travel around the city to find your sessions, let alone if you are driving to the conference itself.
- Her second is to download the conference app if they have one. I've been to a few conferences that don't have a Sched, and it drives me crazy trying to decide and keep track of possible sessions to attend. Here is a little personal tip when going to conferences and dealing with the schedule: Choose multiple options for each session so that if one turns out to be a dud or full, you can go right to another choice instead of searching through the schedule to find something else.
- Next? Don't paper and pencil it. Bring tech that is easily transportable. My first year at CUE, I brought my laptop for use in the hotel room and my iPad for the sessions. I no longer bring my iPad and instead bring my Chromebook and only my Chromebook. If I charge it overnight, I don't (usually) need to charge it during the day. It's light-weight, and taking notes on a keyboard is easier for me than trying to do it on my iPad. I have my phone for anything that needs a QR code, but now I won't even need that thanks to different Chrome extensions.
- Note taking. Jacqui talks about Evernote and Notability, but I tend to create a shared notes document with my Technology Committee or anyone else that is attending the conference, so we can all add to our resources (and sometimes divide and conquer the sessions). Nothing works better than Google Docs for that. In the past, I would create a table of contents, but now I just use the heading functions and the outline tool.
- Messaging App. You're basically going to need Twitter. Most conferences have hashtags that you can use to share and converse about what is happening. I use Tweet Deck so I can have multiple columns of hashtags open.
- QR Reader. Numerous apps you can download for this.
- Digital Scanner. She talks about using it for business cards. I've never used it for that, but I have used it for making copies of receipts for reimbursement. I use the app Tiny Scanner, on my iPhone.
Heading backward into March, Alice Chen wrote about how sharing on social media helped her become a better educator. I'm nowhere near as a prolific tweeter and she certainly has more blog cred than I do, but I do agree with her. Blogging, however sporadic I may be with it, forces me to reflect on what is going on in my teaching. While I know that some people do read these blog posts, they don't seem to spark conversations (yet?). As I've gotten more active on Twitter, I find myself building a more robust PLN and creating conversations. The trick with Twitter is finding the right hashtags so people see what you have to say.
Jumping back to May, and another post by Jacqui, we have a post about using the SAMR Model to direct your technology integration. I definitely agree with much of what she wrote about. Her suggestions remind me a little of Catlin Tucker's suggestion about (and I paraphrase) learning to use one tool really well before adding other tools to your box (and then use the ones that you like the best/most in your tool belt). We have Federal Program Monitoring this year and in our mock assessment, one of the evaluators mentioned how there was a lot of substitution going on by teachers. Well, of course, there is. We've only had 1:1 for one grade level for a year. It is going to take time for many of the more veteran teachers to integrate tech in the classroom beyond what they do on the whiteboard.
I'll stop there. For today at least. If you have any blogs that you follow, let me know. I would love to add them to my Feedly.