Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Digipalooza 2014

For the 2nd year, Scott County 2 hosted their Summer of eLearning conference, Digipalooza. SCSD2 once again used the rock concert theme to add energy to their conference. It was great to see students throughout the day -- the young man that held the door for me, students checking in participants, the recent graduate that introduced the keynote and presented a couple of apps in a breakout session, and the students in all of the breakout rooms available to assist the presenters.

The day started with a keynote around the idea of making education personal. After a 2 year wait, I finally got to hear John Spencer (@edrethinkeducationrethink.com) present. John is the author of Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite, which was our summer 2012 eLearning Book Club selection. John, a middle school teacher from Phoenix, first felt that he belonged after a middle school history day presentation and learned that personal connection is huge. This has fueled his desire to personalize his classroom. He talked about the projects that his students create, how the students have worked through their projects and his role in that, and how he has assessed them. John's keynote left the audience uplifted and ready to work on bringing humor and personalization to their classrooms.

After the keynote, I attended 2 breakout sessions. The first was hosted by Jaclyn Goode, guidance counselor at Johnson and Lexington Elementaries in Scott County 2 who shared how she is teaching kids about digital citizenship. She uses a lot of NetSafe Utah videos when working with students, but also shared some other great resources such as Common Sense Media iBooks. The participants had some time at the end of the session to talk about their real world/school problems involving bullying and digital responsibility issues. I then learned more about INSPIRE with Bill Anderson, Southeastern Indiana Regional Coordinator with the Indiana State Library. INSPIRE is made up of 50 databases. Some of the specific databases that Bill showed us were: Middle Search Plus, Student Research Center, Testing and Education Reference Center (great for college and career information), LitFinder, TeachingBooks.net and Science in Content. Watch for a new user-friendly interface coming soon.

My last stop before lunch was The Voice, continuing with the music theme. This was a smackdown-type presentation, where each presenter had 5 minutes to share a digital tool. The 8 tools that were shared were ActivelyLearn, Animoto, Bitstrips, Youblisher, Tackk, Padlet, Popplet, and Voki.

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