It’s been a busy couple of days. I am currently at the West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference, and it’s my second year attending. Last year I attended as a first time TIS applicant, and fell in love with the variety of opportunities to learn. This year I am attending as an official TIS and as a presenter. I’ve not done my sessions yet, and won’t until tomorrow morning. I’m still finishing one at this point, and this evening I’ll review both of them.
This past year I started getting into building my professional learning network. I’ve noticed a different in my connections at the conference this year because of it. The people I’ve began networking with on Yammer and Twitter are here and it’s great to put faces to the feeds I’ve been following. We’ve been able to get together and share ideas, as well as just hang out and have fun. It’s a great support network, and I can guarantee that if any of us posted or tweeted about an issue we were facing, someone would readily respond. I no longer have to feel isolated in my county, or be annoyed that so few people want to connect outside of their schools. My network, though small, has made all of the difference.
In terms of the conference, I’ve been to a few different sessions that have given me some new ideas. I was eager to attend the OneNote Classroom Creator pre-conference session and learn about classroom creator. Not only am I eager to take Classroom Creator back to my middle school teachers, I’ve also found a renewed interest in OneNote, and am going to work on creating one Notebook that will combine all my paperwork from both of my schools. I would love to cut down on the paper I have to carry with me or worry about losing. I have started a new Notebook, but haven’t been able to work on it much yet since I’ve been working on my presentations.
I also attended a Minecraft session. While it didn’t really give me anything new that I can use in the classroom right now, it did provide me with more ideas for using it in the classroom, should that ever come about in my district. It is nice that it will be available by default on Windows 10, as that would be a start. Of course, our district is just now updating to Windows 7 so it’ll be some time before they decide to update to 10.
Another session I have attended was on EverFi. They have a few different free courses they offer to be used in the classroom, such as their money vault. However, I was only interested in the STEM and Coding course, as that might be beneficial for my middle school programming club. It looks intriguing, and we were given a conference login so we could try out some of the courses for ourselves.
These have been my favorites so far. I’ve also spent a decent amount of time in the vendor hall, and ended up with quite a bit of swag. I love freebies, and vendors never fail to disappoint! I have visited a few, but my school either uses them, they aren’t relevant to me, or they didn’t really interest me.
Going back to my professional learning network spiel, we did have a tweet-up last night with members of the #wvedchat crew. The place where we gathered even had a trivia night going, so we created our team and joined in. We actually did really well, and got 2nd place, or first losers, as we called it.
Tonight I am attending the TIS Reception for current TIS trainees and alumni. We have a dinner gathering, and there will also be some presentations. There weren’t many to sign up for the TIS Genius Hour, so there will be a few presentations for everyone. I actually will be presenting there, as I spoke to one of the cohort leaders about doing the Jr. First Lego League this upcoming season. She was intrigued and wanted me to talk about some of the things open to TIS members. I’m also to talk about ways to spend the remaining TIS grant funds once a TIS trainee has been completed any trainings that they needed.
Time to get going once again. I’m excited and loving it. I hope I can update again soon!