Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reform Symposium 2010

I "attended" the Reform Symposium 2010 last weekend. I logged in for the opening keynote address on Friday from Steve Hargadon. It was a motivator for me and reminded me why I have been brainstorming and planning all summer. The key point I took out of his remarks is that we are doing a disservice to our students if we do not teach them creativity. This is a skill they will need in life and work. His remarks reminded me that my fight to get Web 2.0 tools unblocked is a worthwhile effort even though I get so discouraged sometimes.

I have "attended" other sessions by listening to the recordings because I went out of town on Saturday and Sunday. I listened to "Backchanneling in the Classroom" by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers. This is a tool that I really want to try. He provided great advice on tools to use, ideas for setting up the channel and preparing your students, and how to avoid possible problems. I plan to try every source he offered to find one that is not blocked at school or that they will unblock for me to use.

I listened to the presentation "Its not the tool, its how you use it" by Mary Beth Hertz. She explained how important it is to integrate techology into your lessons and the positive outcomes that you can see. She comes from an elementary background, but the advice applies to all ages.

"The new teacher survival kit" was another useful presentation. I am presenting to induction teachers soon so I wanted to watch this for ideas. Joan Young and Lisa Dabbs gave new teachers (and vets that need a boost) advice on how to balance work and home life and the challenges of the teaching profession. The second half of the session gave suggestions for new teacher mentors.

"Everything I learned about Tech Integration I learned from the Movies" was another fun presentation that would make a great introduction for anyone thinking about putting more technology in their lessons.

"Tech in Ten" by Kelly Hines is a great presentation on tools that do not require lots of training before they are ready for students to dive in.

I really look forward to watching Tom Whitby's presentation on PLNs, but it isn't posted yet.

There are so many great sessions. These are only the few that I picked as my favorites. This conference is completely free. Check it out if you haven't already!

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