Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Digipalooza 2015

There was a definite rock concert excitement in Scottsburg this morning, as Scott 2 partnered with Madison Consolidated to host their third annual Digipalooza summer conference for more than 300 educators in southern Indiana. The buzz may have something to do with their rock-star keynote, George Couros, who has been a vital part of our Summer of eLearning for three years now. His technology-infused message of building strong relationships, and trusting students has moved audiences of educators all across our state. In this way, he has been a major contributor to the growth in Indiana that he mentions in his recent blog post. Couros is adept at helping us see the humanity of the web. "If I want to learn about space, I want to learn from an astronaut. How are you facilitating that connection?" Couros also said, "The biggest game changer in education is and will always be an educator who thinks of themselves as an innovator."

Kansas City EdTech star, Kyle Pace, shared a session on Twitter as professional development. A goal for using Twitter in this way is to build their PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network). Pace gave testimony that it is a great way to communicate and collaborate with like-minded individuals. You can start with a Twitter search like search.twitter.com and type in a hashtag (#Digi15 for Digipalooza). The results will allow you to see the conversation, even before you have an account to start tweeting along. Pace pointed out that this weekend will be a great time to watch #ISTE2015 for tweets from the largest EdTech conference in the world.

Are we bringing along our office staff when we transform teaching and learning in our schools? Can they articulate the technology/learning vision? Can they diagnose issues over the phone and give quality support? Being on the front line with parents and students makes them a key player in all initiatives. Being part of the school and district professional development and training is key to bringing them on board. Scottsburg Middle School principal Kristin Nass challenged session participants to think about how we support and utilize our office staff as we transform what is happening in our schools. Nass’ presentation demonstrated the efficiency Google Drive, Sheets, and Slides provides to the day-to-day running of her school. Connect with Nass to collaborate on leadership in the digital age!

How do we engage today’s students in learning? Jeremy Zeigenbein, Science guru and educator at Scottsburg Middle School, knows simulations can do that and more. Using instructional simulations in the classroom provides students a way to actively engage with the skills and knowledge being covered. Planning, collaboration, and reflection are all parts of a good simulation and needed skills for today’s students. To get started explore these simulation websites: Ck-12 Exploration Series, PHET interactive simulations, Explore Learning’s Gizmos and check out Zeigenbein’s presentation for more resources.

Chris Routt is a Scott 2 teacher who is also the creative talent behind the photography business, mrfoto. These two professions come together in a great session where he shared his diligent study of branding; or the idea we give our customers of what they can expect from our products and services. In an increasingly digital world, schools are realizing that their brand isn't just established by what goes on in their brick-and-mortar buildings. These perceptions are more often created and nurtured by websites and through the volatile world of social media. Routt says leadership teams need to think about the qualities they want people to associate with their school, and then design a strategy for consistently communicating those concepts to the school community.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, the Summer of eLearning conferences are an overwhelming success filled with awesome opportunities for the educators in our state. Thanks to the INDOE eLearning team for making these happen and sharing all the highlights! It is hard to believe that we still have July events to come! Indiana is rocking the house this summer - keep learning & sharing #INeLearn...