Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Digipalooza

eLearning rocks at Digipalooza! Scott County School District 2 chose a fantastic theme for their conference and used it to make teachers feel like they were at an awesome concert complete with a backstage pass! That access included some tremendous learning in keynotes and sessions.

Wednesday's keynote rockstar was Jason Roseberry, Director of eLearning for Five-Star Technology. Unlike so many speakers who highlight the barriers to digital education, Jason did a great job of focusing on solutions. An expert on professional development, he pointed out the need to embed good professional development within the context of teaching and learning, rather than relying on stand-alone sessions.

A full house of educators joined Scott 2 teachers, Chris Routt and Beth Walton to explore uses of Pinterest in the classroom.  They shared photo journals, content projects and evidence of learning. Mollie, a Scott 2 student, also joined the presentation to show how she was able to evidence her learning around a famous American by pinning a board on Amelia Earhart.  Mollie shared this was a more interesting way to share her learning. Pinterest is a great place to connect with other educators and share great ideas for teaching and learning.  Look for more ideas on #digi13 and our own Pinterest boards.

In his session, Yancy Unger shared some great ideas about school change by comparing the way we think about competence to other fields, sharing some clips from Gordon Ramsay's show Kitchen Nightmares. Seeing how some restaurant owners were unable to hear criticism and recognize their own shortcomings, it is easy to imagine how difficult it is for us in education to own inadequacies in our practice. Yancy pointed out that this overestimating of our own capacity, and underplaying our weaknesses actually has a name and field of study: Illusory Superiority.

Micah Heath, Principal of Vienna-Finley Elementary School, shared how he uses a school Twitter account to share pictures and video of student activities. In parallel, he also maintains a Vienna-Finley Facebook page and Pinterest Board. His tweets and posts go a long way toward connecting parents to the school and informing them about events where they can get involved. Micah also shared some great Twitter resources like 7 ways to get more out of Twitter and 100 Scientists 140 characters away.

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