Wednesday, April 6, 2016

2016 Iowa 1:1 Reflections

Today was a whirl-wind day spent in Des Moines with educators from across the state of Iowa. I spent most of the day at the Iowa 1:1 Conference before heading back to some late afternoon professional learning with the Model Teachers in our district.

According to their website, the focus of the Iowa 1:1 Conference is to:
While the title of the conference suggests it is for 1:1 schools, it is certainly not a requirement.  There are a variety of topics discussed from team and culture-building and ways to evoke creativity and student empowerment to resource and app sharing.  While this was my first 1:1 conference, I certainly hope it isn't my last!  Here's a recap of the sessions I attended!

1.)  Ooh and Aah Moments with Devin Schoening @dschoening
Wow is this guy a dynamic speaker. He is a great story-teller to help make personal connections and is very engaging. He gave supreme examples of Ooh and Aah moments he experiences in classrooms he is a part of as an Instructional Coach in Council Bluffs. He also talked about the characteristics of excitement (connecting, engaging, talent, passion, creativity, being genuine, fun / silliness, building relationships, evoking interest, and finding purpose). He challenged us to reflect on how many of these are in our daily plans. A few (OK - more than a few...) of my favorite take-aways from his session were: 

2.) Beyond the Blue Share Button with Beth Swantz @betswan and Amber Bridge @abridgesmith

There were so many great tips and tricks shared in this session; I can't wait to make time to investigate on my own. It is SO important to provide authentic and timely feedback to students and this session certainly provided resources and ideas for how to do this effectively.  Some of my top favorites included JoeZoo Express, Alice Keeler Drive 20, and Screencastify, all found as add-ons or extensions in Google. They also shared a few "must follows" for GAFE resources - Alice Keeler and Matt Miller .  I am so blessed that these two are part of the rockstar @DLGWAEA team and I have them at my fingertips whenever I might need them!

3.) Social Media 3.0: Developing a Connected Mindset Through Intentional Practice with Dan Butler @DanPButler

I have been following this guy on #IAedChat as a participant for about a year and a half. I now get to work with him each week as we co-moderate #IAedChat together. We use Voxer to plan and communicate about our weekly chats, but it was great to meet Dan in person and get the chance to sit down and listen to him tell his personal story of why using social media to build relationships is what drives him. He's very passionate about his work and that was very apparent today in his session. I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him on a weekly basis. His passion for making positive connections and building strong relationships makes me want to just be better! If you get a chance, check out this article that speaks of being intentional in your connections.

I also had the great pleasure to host an #i11i session with two of my colleagues - Kim Fisher @Mrs_KFisher and Anna Upah @AnnaUpah. It was titled Share Your Inner Awesome: Using Social Media to Connect with Families and Teachers.  We talked about the What, the Why, and the How to share teachers' and students' inner awesome.  We spoke about our favorite connection platforms of Blogger, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Voxer, Blab, Pinterest, and Google Plus.  While we may use a variety of avenues to connect, it's important to remember that teachers need to use what works for them and for their audience. Teachers need to think about their intended purpose for sharing, who the audience is, and what is being shared.  Don't try to do all of them at once. 

 Our session resources are linked above and the Google Slides are filled with hyperlinks galore.  If you currently live on any of these social media platforms, please, look us up!  We'd love to connect and see how you're sharing your inner awesome with families and stakeholders to strengthen your partnerships!

Hosting a session at a state-wide conference is something I would not have ever thought possible before taking on a leadership role in my district. While I enjoy helping teachers think outside the box in my role as an Instructional Coach, it is certainly a two-way street in my building. I have teachers who also push me to continue to be a learner and step outside my box on a daily basis. I am very thankful for teachers who help me keep my mind fresh and always search for new ideas and passions!

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