Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Fruits of Labor and Professional Development

Region Six's annual ETC Conference at Gregori High School was in full swing Saturday, February 22! ETC had over 800 (yes, you read that right) educators gather to learn more about technology, its use, and integration into classrooms.

The energy was palpable as more and more teachers entered the gym. The excitement of learning new tech was everywhere. Venders were showing products, breakfast was served, and  Luke Hubbard  was handing out laptop bags and making sure presenters and attendees were all set. It was the beginnings of a great day of learning!

I began the day with the amazing Andrew Schwab on how to Google more efficiently. It was great! From Google Scholar to searching a file type. You and your students can even better learn Google Search through courses online. Andrew rocked the room! AND the best part, he shared all his resources! Yes!

Then Karen Taylor and I were up. Web Tools and Apps for the Common Core. We had a packed room of teachers ready to learn. 

We polled the room to see what kind of technology users we had (very high users this session!) and then were off!
Me getting my share on!

We walk attendees through web tools and apps that fit the Blooms's New Taxonomy and the Common Core. Because this was the first hour presentation Karen and I have done (we typically do an hour and a half minimum or up to three hours) we glossed the lower levels because we teachers, we want to see our students reaching the higher levels! Not that the lower levels aren't important. They are! They are essential to get our students achieving at the higher one and all are incorporated in the higher levels as well. 

With Bloom's in mind, we discussed, demonstrated and gave classroom use/examples of PadletPopplet, Today's Meet, Vod and Podcasting, blogging, Comic Life, movie posters through Big Labs, Vokis, raps, Fakebook, Animoto, Aurasma, Educreations, Genius Hour, and so much more! It was incredible! All our resources, including our presentation can be located here.

The best part of it all is the sharing and connecting with educators. Not only did I have the support of the staff I work with (shout out to Lori, Amanda, Fergi, and Anne!), but I got to meet some Twitter heroes face to face as well as new teachers who became inspired by what they saw and heard. I was Tweeted and talked to after the entire conference saying that our session was worth the entire day! I was even stopped by a brand new teacher at Starbucks about our "inspiring class" and how she went directly to her classroom to set up for the week with her "new technology tools"! #EduWIN!
My new moto.

Through all the professional development I have been a part of has taught and reinforced to me that sharing and connecting goes a LONG way. We as educators need to open our doors and rooms, our ideas, thoughts, and questions to other educators. The only way to get better is to work together! Even the smallest idea can turn to be HUGE for someone else! Long gone are the days of "on my own island" teaching. We must empower, inspire, and help each other! Connect with at personal learning community or network. Go big or go home!

Educators are not teachers because it's a job....we are educators because it is our PASSION! 

So get passionate and be a lifelong learner and a sharer! 

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