Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upstate Technology Conference 2011

Last week I attended the Upstate Technology Conference in my school district and the theme was “What’s Your Vision?” I look forward to this conference every year because it is local and it is free. What a wonderful thing for the school district to host and allow educators from all surrounding areas to participate. This year I gave a presentation on QR codes but I also attended some sessions where I learned new information about something. Below are the notes that I took from some of the sessions.

1.      Don’t Read to me: A presentation on presentations by Chris Craft
a.       Things that drive me crazy- we were able to have a conversation with others and then share the things that drive us crazy about some presentations
b.      People reading slides affects the brain negatively (It drives me crazy when people read every word of every bullet on every slide!!)
c.       Black background/white text is very effective (important for people who are colorblind)
d.      Polleverywhere.com is real time survey (I used this in my presentation and it was awesome!)
e.       Heat/AC can affect the audience
f.       Limited Working memory/Limitless Virtual Long term memory – connections help long term memory
g.      Remember how it made me feel but not what it was about.
h.      Attitude of the presenter – stick to the time or end early
i.        Ummm are very distracting – slow down and rehearse
j.        Consider different people’s learning styles
k.      Rather than intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, consider “expectancy value theory” – students who feel there is some value to what they are learning will be motivated to learn. (relevance is important!)

2.      Using Livebinders to Organize and Collaborate by Hope Chapman
a.       Live Binders (http://www.livebinders.com)
b.      Save links
c.       Update text
d.      Bookmarking tool
e.       Share with students
f.       Keep resources organized
g.      Share with other teachers
h.      Interactive sites
i.        Videos
j.        Type your own text
k.      Multiple layouts for your text and links
l.        Teachers control, organize, can access anywhere there is internet

3.      Keynote Speaker – Brad Fountain
I went to an overflow room to watch the Keynote on a live stream. Unfortunately they had lots of technical difficulties getting it to stream and found empty seats in the auditorium for people. But I didn’t want to walk in the auditorium after the presentation had already started so I stayed in the library. Eventually they got the live stream working but the buffering affected the sound and I had trouble focusing on the speaker. I have already missed the whole beginning and it was hard to jump into the middle of the presentation.

4.      Harness the Power of Cell Phones by Tamra Cox
a.       75% of all kids age 12-17 own a cell phone
b.      50% of middle and high school students own a smart phone
c.       Children under 12 are the fastest growing segment
d.      Almost 60% of teens txt in class
e.       Within 5 years, every k-12 student in America will use a mobile handheld device on
f.       Classroom management: Put your cell phones on the corner of your desk
g.      Pros: flexibility, calendars, affordable, students have them, portable, anywhere anytime learning, reach underserved children, personalized learning experience, student’s choice in device
h.      Cons: some students don’t have one, distraction, potential for cheating, privacy concerns, health concerns, teacher and admin attitudes
i.        Lesson Ideas:
                                                              i.      calculator,
                                                            ii.      Voki,
                                                          iii.      text a question to Cha Cha,  (translate, definition, ask questions),
                                                          iv.      Google SMS ((translate, definition, ask questions),
                                                            v.      set up acct. on StudyBoost and then quiz as txt msg,
                                                          vi.      timers,
                                                        vii.      alarms,
                                                      viii.      qr codes,
                                                          ix.      flickr,
                                                            x.      ipadio,
                                                          xi.      blogger,
                                                        xii.      broadtexter
j.        Apps for Teacher
                                                              i.      Hot seat
                                                            ii.      Roll call
                                                          iii.      Dropbox
                                                          iv.      Google app
                                                            v.      Grade pad
                                                          vi.      Mobile mouse pro
                                                        vii.      Ischedule – need to buy it
                                                      viii.      Evernote

5.      iPads and Your Classroom by Russ Conrath
a.       Free and Low Cost Apps for iPads: needs and Apple cord or HDMI cable)
b.      Oregon Trail – 99 cents
c.       Keynote remote - $9.99
d.      Garageband
e.       Moon Globe
f.       Dragon Diction
g.      US History Challenge

I enjoyed the sessions I attended but I also enjoyed networking with others. Some of these people I only see once a year at this conference and some of these people are new friends now. One night we were able to go out to dinner (and I dragged my hubby along! He likes meeting my friends though, so it wasn’t a hardship for him).

If you live anywhere near Greenville, SC, please consider attending or presenting at this conference next year. It is well worth the time and energy.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original picture by Pat Hensley

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