Day 3 of the Technology Academy started off with the usual packing up and checking out of the hotel room. It’s that not so fun time. On top of that, I had to make sure that of course I had all of my gear for the day’s sessions.
The morning started off with team time. We met to discuss the things we had loved about the training so far, and to talk about the upcoming edcamp sessions as well. It was a very short meeting, and most of us were ready to move on to the next thing.
Edcamp was something new for the Academy this year. I had looked forward to it because I had been hearing all about edcamps from a good colleague of mine, and I was pumped to attend. Unfortunately, the edcamps at this particular training didn’t follow the typical edcamp format, which I was disappointed about. From how sessions were created and signed up for to the way they were presented (for the most part) was not the model that edcamps traditionally follow. Because of this, I’m going to try very hard to attend an
edcamp session before this year is out.
The first edcamp session I attended was on digital portfolios. It focused on using Seesaw in the classroom, which I’ve written a blog post on before. I loved the refresher though and am definitely going to try to get it used in at least one classroom this upcoming year, especially if that classroom is my own. If you want to know more about Seesaw, refer to the linked post above.
The second edcamp session was done in more of a conversational style, mostly because the presenter wasn’t sure exactly how to address the topic. We discussed original work and how to make sure students were using original work. The biggest issue is that there’s now so much out there that students copying other work cannot be prevented completely. The best thing to do is prepare students and make them well aware of how to avoid plagiarism and the cost of taking advantage of it.
After both edcamp sessions, the next session I went to was on Communicating Success as an Educator. I liked the premise behind it and building your brand. It focused on the reasons for an educator to build their brand, especially with all of the negativity toward the education profession in general. The session also touched on being careful as to what is posted on social media websites, which can often get teachers into trouble. The only thing I would have loved to have seen added to this session was ways to build one’s teacher brand. We want educators to share and connect, but many aren’t sure how to do that. Guiding teachers toward avenues such as Twitter and blogging would have been a great addition to this session!
I did attend the educational partners session right before lunch. I chose to attend the session put on by Robert C. Byrd Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers on RCBI and Edge Factor. It was a great addition to the Maker Movement, though most of what they do is geared at the middle and high school levels. We were shown previews of the Edge Factor and I can definitely see how it would catch the attention of older students and let them see how making can change the lives of those in some of their favorite hobbies and professions.
The final session of the camp that I attended was Creating Projects with Secondary Students. One of my coworkers joined me for this session. I knew the tools being used for it, but for her they were new. When each tool was presented, I would explain to her how I had used the tool with other teachers, or how she might be able to use it with her own students. Both of us were able to contribute our own experiences with Powtoons though, and she shared how we had used it in her classroom. We were both pleased, and she
enjoyed the take home info cards for each tool so that she could explore them on her own time.
By this point, it was nearing 3 and we were ready for the closing session. The closing session had two parts- Speed Geeking and 60 in 60. Speed Geeking is just like speed dating in way. There were numbered tables in the room, and each table had a question and table leader. We were randomly given the tables to visit during the session, and then we had 5 minutes to discuss the prompt provided before moving on. We did three rounds of this before preparing for the 60 in 60, which I did not attend, as I had a long drive home, where I had to repack and prepare for my trip the next day. 60 in 60 though is a quick session where 60 different edtech tools are presented in 60 minutes. I know one of my coworkers attended this, and she loved it.
Overall, the Infusing Technology Academy was a great way to reconnect with some old friends, refresh my memory on some technology, and learn about new bits that I had never heard of before. I also enjoyed the time I got to spend with coworkers from the middle school. I know they enjoyed what they learned and have new ideas to integrate the technology into their classrooms. Next technology training this summer- West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference!