Tuesday, July 21, 2015

IntegratED

After four years of hosting Knight-Time Technology, East Noble School Corporation joined with MSD of Steuben County to sponsor IntegratED. They had two strand options this year -- the traditional conference style and an unconference. Google Apps and Extensions quickly become the most popular topic with the unconference participants.


After a welcome by Joanna Cook, East Noble School Corporation, and Kelly Clifford and Amy Heavin, MSD of Steuben County, the PIRATE himself, Dave Burgess, took the stage. For conference attendees who weren't quite awake, Dave's energy and passion quickly brought them to attention. Dave shared his PIRATE principle --  passion, immersion, rapport, ask and analye, transformation, and enthusiasm. Much of the presentation was spent on the the topic of passion and the importance of finding and sharing your content, professional, and personal passions. If you're not using hooks to get and keep your kids' attention, you should be. Some of the hooks that Dave shared are swimming with sharks, taboo, board message, mystery bag, and props. Dave asked the audience some tough questions: If students didn't have to be in your classroom, would they be? Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for? If you don't like the answers to those questions, what are you going to do differently this year? Want to know more about teaching like a PIRATE? Check out Dave's book, Teach Like a PIRATE and join in the Twitter conversations using the hashtag #tlap and connect with other PIRATE educators. The #INeLearn book club read Teach Like a PIRATE in the fall of 2013. Check out the archives of the book club blog and see what fellow teachers shared about the reading.

The first session I attended was "Using Web Creation/Documentary Film Making as a Unit of Study" with Luke Amstutz, social studies and digital media teacher and football coach at East Noble HS. Luke takes a standard, breaks it down, and turns it into a creation unit, utilizing web design and documentary film making. His students are creating something that will be helpful when taking the test. Luke has his students utilize Weebly to create websites, which is simplified by the fact that his students have Google accounts and they use that account to log in to Weebly. Luke has his students do a different media project for each of the 5 standards he teaches. One example of a movie project that his students do is the creation of silent films about a variety of topics having to do with the 1920s. He then combines all of those into one full length movie. Do you have access to a green screen (or do you have a piece of green fabric)? He suggested having students use green screen to insert themselves into historical events. Luke shares examples of projects done in the past as well as rubrics to let his students know what is expected of them.

Chantell Manahan, wears many hats at Angola High School, including English teacher, High Tech Hornets student tech team sponsor, and Tech Mentor and presented on the topic of Authentic Audience. Chantell wanted the work that her students were doing to be for more than just her. She shared a quote by Rushton Hurley, NextVista for Learning: "If students are sharing their work with the world, they want it to be good. If they’re just sharing it with you, they want it to be good enough.” Not only did Chantell share her ideas on authentic audience collaboration, but she encouraged the session participants to join in the conversation in a collaborative Google Doc. She shared ideas in the areas of sharing with peers, school, and community; blogging and publishing; social media; and Skype and Google Hangout. Some things that her students have done are performances in their classroom and record and share, create QR codes to book reviews and presentations and display those in the library, and use Kidblog to have her students blog about their reading. Last year, Chantell tweeted from her Twitter account about class activities, but this year will have class accounts and will have students tweet from those accounts, kind of a Twitter takeover.

For those conference participants looking for more PIRATE, Dave presented a breakout session called "Teaching Outside the Box: A Crash Course in Creativity." Creativity is a word that has a lot of mystery around it, but according to Dave creativity is just making stuff. We're all creative beings, we just don't give ourselves credit for it. Questions are the key to creativity. Change the questions that you ask in order to change the answers you get. Dave spent much of the session sharing some great ideas to bring creativity into the classroom. One of the most entertaining examples was Mr. Vaudrey's mullet ratio.

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