Blog 3/10 - ISTE REflection and Sharing
The basic idea of an IGNITE session is to give ten presenters five minutes to share an idea they are passionate about. Each presenter was given twenty slides that moved at a preset rate, so they all had to be on top of their game to knock it out of the park. There were four sessions, so a total of forty presenters. I will not go into detail about all of them, but rather highlight some of the presentations that have continued to stick in my mind. (No disrespect to all of the other presenters.)
Amy Burvall - @amyburvall
Amy started by focusing on the idea that "Transparency is the new black." She talked about her own journey from keeping her creations to herself, to realizing that she experiences much more if she chooses to share her creations with the world. She is widely known for her historical music video parodies on YouTube and her unique ability to create visuals what she learned or is thinking at the time. It was great to listen to somebody who I have followed and learned from over the years. She is one of the reasons that I am willing to share my experiences much more freely, and as a result, I learn so much more.
Nic Provenzano - @thenerdyteacher
It takes a lot of guts to stand in front of thousands of people and sign the theme song to a children's cartoon, but that is what Nic did. He (supported by a large part of the audience) sang the theme song to Phineas and Ferb. Why? He wanted to make the point that much of what kids learn is done outside of the school walls. Kids learn through play and genuine curiosity. He challenged the audience to rethink how they structure their lessons and classrooms. He challenged everyone to help their students create, rather than consume. Honestly, it was one of my highlights of the conference.
First, Jennie could have talked about the pros and cons of wire hangers vs plastic hangers and it would have captivated the crowd. Jennie presents with such passion and excitement it is hard not to get amped up along with her. She focused on how teachers need IEPs (Individual Exploration Plans). She advocated the need for teachers to demonstrate to their students what it means to be a life-long learner. We shouldn't just tell students they need to be life-long learners, we need to model it. She believes we all have room for growth and the ability to be innovative in what we do. Her five minutes flew by, but she packed an hour of passion into it.
Todd Nesloney - @TechNinjaTodd
It is amazing to watch somebody speak about something they are emotionally invested in. Todd was a math teacher who was jealous of the science teachers who were able to highlight their students' achievements at a science fair. So, he decided to modify the rules and hosted a math fair. He went on to show pictures of students' projects and discuss not only what the students learned, but also what he learned about this project. My take away from Todd's speak was that we need to find a way to fuse the content we are trying to teach with the interests/passions the students already have. The project was so much more meaningful than a worksheet and much more practical. What will your students do, if you give them some freedom?
This was only four of the forty presentations, but they are the four that immediately stood out in my mind. If I ever get the chance to go back to ISTE, you can be sure that the IGNITE sessions we be the first thing on my list.
Tomorrow - The World Is Not As It Appears: Augmented Reality