18 October 2012

Highlights & Notes from ITEC '12

Just finished wrapping up my thoughts & notes from the ITEC conference the past two days and wanted to put them out here too.  Some great sessions, great resources. 

Two Highlights from the Vendor Fair:
- I had heard a little about DisplayNote a few weeks ago when it was released, but it was VERY helpful to see it demonstrated at the Tierney Brothers booth.  I think it could be a fabulous tool for personalizing learning in tech-rich classrooms.  A little pricey at first glance, but if you compare it to the cost of an interactive whiteboard and consider all the options you get with it, I have to say it may actually be a bargain.  (~$695 for a teacher license/$3200 site license)

WiPad Pro
- This is a wireless HDMI transmitter for the iPad.  It does not use & is not reliant on your wireless.  Supports 1080p, streaming audio, no latency, is simple plug and play.  ($299 Educator pricing)

Three Sessions I didn't go to but wish I would've:

"Creating Coursework in iTunes U"  - Very excited to try this out, thanks to some great note from my friend Katie who went to the session.

"Gameification of PD" (
site) - This innovative & fun model for tech pd by Bettendorf sounds like something we should definitely check out and consider replicating.  Can't wait to learn more as I discuss with my coworker J, who attended this one.

"iPad Workflow for Educators" (
presentation) - Didn't get to see it live but even just the presentation notes got me excited.  Straight-forward and split into Assigning work, Recieving work, Grading work, there is a TON of great ideas here yet they are laid out sensibly and easy to follow.

Session Notes:
"Getting Big Results from Just a Few iPads" (presentation)
Adam Nidey, WDM

Good session sharing how he uses a few iPads, a few computers and a few creative classroom design ideas in his classroom station work.  App suggestions for word work, reading, and writing as well as web tools and Twitter ideas from this year's ITEC Educator of the Year.
: In his district, to get 3 classroom iPads, teachers had to write up how they were planning on using them AND attend 15 hours of training & integration sessions.

"Quit, Complain or Innovate"
Marco Torres, Keynote presentation

This guy has been interviewed for Edutopia and was entertaining as well as inspiring.  He's from a tough school with lots of turnover yet he says we have three options, "Quit, Complain or Innovate."  I like that.  He also talked a lot about not forgetting what question it is we are trying to answer, and thinking outside the box in solving it.  "People who do amazing things can not live without their networks."
: Regardless of your situation, if you build a strong PLN, you can grow, innovate and be amazing. 

"Integrating Web 2.0 and eBooks into Curriculum" (presentation)
Shannon Miller, Van Meter

I've seen her present a couple times before and I love her passion, fresh ideas and vision.  Active twitter presence, photo nut, and librarian extraordinaire.  Her presentation has an amazing list of tools & apps to support literacy.  This lady is seriously a rockstar.
:  Hard to choose a highlight since elem literacy is not my strength, but she mentioned quickly a project they did to encourage and increase usage where they helped students set up a "Library in My Pocket" on their personal smart devices so they can access all the tons of free resources that she's compiled.

"Evernote" (presentation)
Leslie Fisher

I've been an avid Evernote user for a couple of years now so this session was pretty much mostly review for me but it did reinforce my belief in how great this product is.  I want to do a lunch & learn session on this for my dept sometime soon.  It was nice to see Evernote Peek and Evernote Clearly demonstrated. 
:  Evernote is the greatest note-taking & organization tool.

"Gadgets"  (presentation)
Leslie Fisher

I am a Leslie Fisher fan so I stuck around for her session on what is new and trending in the tech gadget world.

Takeaway:  I want a Parrot AR Drone.

"iOS Apps" (presentation)
Leslie Fisher

I started Tuesday off with more Leslie and the apps came fast & thick.  A good mix of things I was familiar with and things new to me.  Some paid and some free.  It got me wanting to take another look at Rover and also check out Zine.
: HaikuDeck.  A new, free app that allows for the creation of sharp-looking presentations on the iPad that can be exported to PPT if you so choose.

"What's new, What's next"
David Pogue, Keynote

A very entertaining speaker.  Tech-saavy and still super easy to understand.  I didn't take a single note during his talk but I was engaged through the whole thing.
:  I would like to have his job (Tech columnist, reviewer for NYTimes, host of Nova)

"Good Principal, Bad Principal"  (presentation)
Andy Crozier, Andrew & Brian Downing, Okoboji

A great session that I wish all principals would check out.  This was one session that I definitely wish could've gone on longer. Looked at a few common situations that divide school leaders into "good/bad" categories and discussion on tips that can be taken to make sure you are in the right category.
: If there are administrators (or leaders of any kind, really) who are not tapping into the wealth of knowledge, resources and support via Twitter, they are not doing their job properly.

"Tech Training That Works" (site)
Mary Trent, Nancy Peterman, Carroll Kuemper, Tech Integrationists

This was great to hear how Mary has honed her tech training ways over a 12 year period.  In the end it was an admin-mandated, $25/hr compensated, schedule of Saturday mornings and after-school times that people could choose from that worked the best.  Lots of great tips in this session.
: I loved the requirement that each teacher has to put together one tech-integrated, core-aligned lesson plan after each training.  If you do this, you will end up with a nice library of shared ideas.  I also loved her statement about when people say, "Oh you're just know so much more than me" or "You are an expert at this".  She just explains to them, "It's not that I'm smart or know more than you, it's just that I've made all the mistakes before." 

"Free & Easy Screencasting Tools" (presentation)
Tony Amsler, Grant Wood AEA

A good simple demo of a few free screencasting tool options.  Useful for beginners.  Personally, I love Jing and was surprised how little time/attention he gave it.
:  Umm...I kinda tuned out once I decided that Jing would still be my tool of choice.

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