WVSTC, or the West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference, is a yearly technology conference held in Morgantown, WV at the Waterfront Place Hotel. It typically happens during July. This year, it’ll be taking place July 19-21st. This so happens to be one of my favorite conferences, and thanks to Twitter, I have made many contacts with fellow colleagues in the state. The first year I attended was 2014, when I was part of the TIS Cohort. It was one of our required activities, and it was during that conference that I wondered why I’d never heard of the conference before then. For me, it was one big vacation and a chance to learn so much. In 2015, I again attended and opted to present two different sessions. One was on blogging as an educator and the other was on building a PLN.
I have been eagerly awaiting the call for proposals for 2016, and a few weeks ago the announcement was made. As soon as I saw the email, I sent in the two items I wanted to present on: Twitter and Coding.
Session Proposal #1: Twitter 101 Getting Started on Twitter as an Educator
Twitter is a powerful social media tool for educators looking to expand their personal learning networks. Educators have learned to use this tool to build connections and participate with others in discussions taking place around the world. If you’re looking for a new way to connect and get involved in the world of education, this session is for you! Come join this session for a hands-on approach to joining in and changing the way you learn. Attendees will learn the basic Twitter lingo, set up their Twitter account, create their first tweets, explore hashtags, discover educator resources, edchats, and more. All attendees will leave with the resources and connections to help them jump start their educational foray into the world of Twitter. A laptop or other mobile device is required for this session.
One thing that some of my fellow Twitter colleagues and I have noticed is that there seems to be a lack of educators on Twitter in WV. When we have our biweekly #wvedchats, we often see the same faces, and our biggest participation turnout has been 31. We want to see that number grow, and that would hopefully allow for chats to be held more often like other states do. Of course, we’re always encouraging educators to think outside of the box when it comes to professional development. We want to see more involved WV educators on Twitter, and this session would be one way to do that.
This session, if accepted, will also be a feeder session for the proposal submitted by another fellow #wvedchat member. Once we get folks set up and interested in Twitter, we want to do a live session and promote more of the benefits of using Twitter as an educator. We’re hoping it’s successful in gaining the attention of other fellow WV educators, but only time will tell.
Session Proposal #2: Coding Clubs – Anyone Can Start One!
Getting coding into the classroom is being encouraged more and more these days. If you don’t know much about coding though, you might feel daunted by the task. Not anymore! This session will guide you through getting a coding club started at the elementary or middle school levels. Explore coding programs for students of all ages, program a Bee-Bot, and test some coding board games meant for students from preschool to adult. You’ll leave this hands-on, interactive session with plenty of ideas and a Getting Started packet perfect for starting coding clubs at your own school. Make sure you bring a laptop or other mobile device to participate!
This particular session is one I have had in mind since before last year’s conference. In April of 2015, I attended a professional development session by Code.org on getting started with coding in the classroom. I was hooked on the idea, and had plans to begin coding clubs at both SES and CBMS the following school year. This session is going to allow me to present on how to get clubs started at other schools, and what potential materials work really well with the Code.org curriculum. I would really love to get enough space to do some hands-on demonstrations with the extra materials. I really do not want this session to be a lecture session. Coding is fun, easy to get started with, and it’s best to just jump right in and play around!
If you would like to submit a proposal for the conference, be sure to do so by April 29. The call for vendors is also up. Interested persons should go to http://wvstc.com. Currently, signups for attending the convention, as well as conference hotel fees, are unavailable. I hope to see other friendly faces there though!