Monday, July 21, 2014

Greater Clark Connected Conference

Did you get your selfie with a spotlight? With so many spotlight speakers on the scene at Jeffersonville High School, the hosts of the Greater Clark Connected Conference made them the target of a selfie contest. Tweet your selfie with a spotlight speaker and you could win a fantastic prize! You can check out the selfies and all the learning shared today at #GCCC14.

After a welcome by State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Greater Clark's student crew of 'Chrome Ninjas' took the stage early to model digital teaching and learning for the teachers assembled. These fifth graders talked about how their learning styles demand a new way of teaching. They put together technology-infused American Revolution examples that showcased more engaging ways of learning (Shmoop) and more creative ways of showing what they had learned (PowToon).

Keynote speaker, Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann) shared his passion for "making our schools better, healthier places." Lehmann is the founding principal of Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy (SLA), which continues to be a great example of what a modern school is capable of being. It is founded on three simple questions that guide their mission: "How do we learn? What can we create? What does it mean to lead?" In a follow-up session, Lehmann shared that the core values of the school are: inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. SLA is also dedicated to an ethic of caring, and has converted their homeroom time into an intentional advisory period to foster amazing relationships with students.

Lehmann drew applause from the crowd when he declared that "Before any legislature approves a state test to assess students and schools, those legislators should be made to take the test themselves, and publish their results in the paper."
In one of the numerous spotlight sessions, Amber Teaman (@8amber8) urged school leaders to embrace their leadership potential, regardless of their position. Teaman, an elementary assistant principal, has established powerful avenues of communication for her school via Twitter, and has helped families receive important school messages as texts. She also uses her blog to make her vision very clear. One of the management tools she uses to help her multi-task is IFTTT or If This, Then That. This app allows her to automate sharing and posting so that she can literally do 5 things by doing one. Other tools Teaman finds invaluable to her work are Dropbox and Evernote.

In the afternoon, Tim Walker from Education Networks of America hosted a virtual session with Dr. Kelly Mendoza from Common Sense Media.  Mendoza, presenting from California, encouraged attendees to embrace digital citizenship as a community responsibility. As we have shared before, Common Sense has a wealth of resources to teach students how to build a positive online footprint. This independent, not for profit organization also works hard to rate and map the best apps, games, and websites for the classroom. See these reviews in Graphite. Considering a 1:1 implementation? Be sure to check out their 1:1 Essentials Program for a three phase guide and media-rich resources to help guide your way.

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