Tuesday, July 14, 2015

AlicElearning 2015

The Summer of eLearning is still going strong in the heart of July, with two conferences opening today on opposite sides of the state. On the west side, Vincennes hosted their second eWonderland conference with about 300 in attendance. Participants packed in for keynote Leslie Fisher, Gadget Guru and Chief Geek at lesliefisher.com. Fisher is known for sharing some of the hottest new tools making their way into classrooms, and this morning was no exception. She highlighted Arloon's Anatomy App and demonstrated Google Translate (available for iPhone and Android). Another hit was Osmo, a reflector system for iPad, evolving activities like Tangrams into more interactive experiences.

In an early session, Kristen Taylor from Carmel Middle School and Al Parsons of Shelbyville High School (and STEM teacher of the year) shared how they are using drones to bring math class to new heights. Taylor described how she saw geometric shapes from the air in her second drone flight. The classroom applications were quick to follow. For concepts like scale and speed, drone video and stills shot by students provides some engaging content for measurement and analysis. Parsons suggested that there are grant possibilities for teachers looking to bring these tools into their math instruction.

Another popular session was iMovie Training, where Chris Young and Kyle Kline took beginners deep into the features of this great program. The newest version allows you to build a general movie, or start with a trailer style template. With a little editing and title work, educators found an easy way to create an engaging hook for their next lesson. For another kick, they threw Dubsmash into the mix and edited together the snippets they created there. Click here to get their presentation on the iPad version of iMovie.

Afternoon breakouts centered around content areas. So, social studies teachers gathered in one spot, while science folks were collaborating down the hall. I sat in with a group of administrators facilitated by Five-Star's Yancy Unger and conference coordinator Barry Stone. This was a great opportunity for school leaders to share the questions they are dealing with in terms of starting a technology initiative. What grades should we begin with? How do you manage BYOD? What is the best way to support teachers in learning new tools? These conferences are always a great place for administrators to join in the learning!

One more session with Leslie Fisher yielded dozens of powerful web 2.0 tools for schools. Fisher demonstrated Wufoo for creating online forms, and Permission Click for collecting digital permission slips and payments. If you didn't get a chance to catch her today, Fisher will make another stop in the Hoosier state two weeks from now at Catch the Wave in Lafayette.

Photos by Lizzie Bailey

1 comment:

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