Thursday, June 18, 2015

A1 Digital Innovation Conference 2015: Transform

This year's end of the year conference was one of our biggest projects. Our PD remains focused by reexamining our three word brand, Discover, Transform, Excel. Throughout the year our PD was about discovery, and our conference was about transformation. We called the conference Transform 2015 and used butterflies for our logo. Here is an example on our Wow! Cards. Each teacher was given a card when they arrived. We had a yellow bag on the help desk where they were turned in. At the awards ceremony at the end of day two we pulled cards out and awarded prizes to both nominating teacher and presenter nominated. After the conference we sorted the cards and gave them to presenters. I saw this idea at the NC School Library Media conference and loved it. It was a huge success and definitely something we will do again.

At the Transform conference I led several different sessions. 

Teachers had an option of joining the Appmazing Race to earn an extra technology hour. Teams of teachers completed ten technology tasks and then put them all together in an iMovie that was shared on Twitter. Our winning team video is below. Here is the task list.

Our app gallery was a huge hit. Here are pictures of some of the tables. We contacted app developers to request swag for the tables and each iTeacher created a table for their favorite app with examples and links to resources for using the app. Teachers stamped a card as they visited each table and were entered into a drawing for prizes as well as earning a tech hour for the session.

Our closing session featured our version of the Family Feud. A group of teachers and librarians did a session like this at ISTE a few years ago and I've wanted to do a similar session for our district since then. Everyone LOVED it! I emailed a Google Form surveying our teachers about favorite apps and a few funny questions about having devices in the classroom. These were the top questions that we used for the show. Our teams were able to take a prize from our prize table at the end of the game. The Secondary Team were the winners. We had over $3,700 worth of prizes to give away to Appmazing race teams, Wow card drawing, and App Gallery drawing. We invited teachers to nominate themselves or others for the Transform Award. We asked teachers outside of the district to judge the nominations and we awarded a prize to our elementary, middle, high and district level winners. The prize was a Cocoon Grid It with lots of iPad accessories included. 
Our iStudents did a great job helping us at the conference, manning the app gallery tables and help desk, running equipment to speakers, hanging signs, handing out materials to teachers, taking pictures and all sorts of other jobs that made the conference run so smoothly. 
There are so many details to share about the conference that I'll have to cut myself off, but if there is anything you'd like to know more about just ask and I'm happy to share. We had a wonderful time and our teachers enjoyed themselves while learning.

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