This last day of the conference was bittersweet, I was sad to leave great friends and learning behind, but I am also so excited to go to bed early tonight.
The Pear Deck Presentation: Sweeter Student Engagement
I had a lot of unrealized anxiety about this presentation that I did not recognize until it was over. I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I so wanted to share something meaningful, that other teachers would find valuable and applicable, and was concerned that I was sharing a tool.
Pear Deck isn’t just a tool. It is not a substitute for PowerPoint presentation, and it goes further than augmentation on the SAMR model. Pear Deck has modified instruction in my classroom by allowing me to interact with all of my students as they construct their understanding.
As soon as I show someone how Pear Deck works, whether it be teachers, administrators, or students, they see the value. This session was no different. I had a wonderful crowd at ISTE – thanks for sticking out the microphone issues, asking great questions, and truly engaging with Pear Deck! Thanks to the Pear Deck team for being there for technology support and to answer audience questions.
Also, this may be the coolest tweet ever.
My Favorite Presentations
I went to a couple of sessions on the last day with Chris Moore and Nate Ubowski. I have seen them present before and know that I like their style. While I have a solid understanding of the tools in their presentations, I always end up with new ideas for how and why to use them.
Chris and Nate offer more than an excellent tutorial, they make the tools personal, and bring them alive for any content or grade level. I left their sessions fascinated by the idea of making templates in Google slides and with a new understanding of how to utilize Google Street View (Thanks Jessica Loucks!).
ISTE Technology Takeaways
I found a few new pieces of technology that would be a good fit for my classroom and personal learning. While a lot of the vendors were new and interesting, I try to stay focused on the needs of my student and classroom, and be selective about the vendors that I speak to.
I have known what Symbaloo doess for a while, but when I saw a post on Twitter about their new (and free!) lesson plans, I ran upstairs to chat them up. I got a detailed tour of the Lesson Plan interface and this is something that I am already planning to implement.
I would like to use traditional Symbaloo boards to create resource hubs for my students and then use the Lesson Plan feature for the students who feel that they need guidance and pathways to learn. Some of my students are ready to work independently and would benefit just from the resources, but now I have a way to assist students who are still learning to make their own decisions about their learning. The Lesson Plans allow you to curate resources and guide students through them based on their responses to questions.
The goal being to help them determine what works best for their learning as they work through the Lesson Plans. Like Kerry Gallagher said earlier this week, lesson plans are the suggested route.
Quick, easy, professional learning when you need it. I don’t think that I would be able to keep up with the year round membership, but I think I would definitely be willing to pay for the tutorials for 2-3 months out of the year (probably mostly summer months).
I am a devoted Socrative user. The simple and easy-to-use platform for formative assessment is a staple in my classroom. I have written a Screenshot Tutorial and a popular Socrative Review to make Socrative even easier for teachers to access and put to use.
I am intrigued by Socrative Pro, but I am not convinced it is worth the price (currently on sale for $29.99, soon to be $49.99). The primary change in the paid Pro service is that teachers can run multiple rooms of quizzes at once. My need for multiple Socrative quizzes at once is solved be free Symbaloo lesson plans which will help students move through content based on their needs and individual pace.
It’s my favorite, check it out if you haven’t.
- Make a decision about what technology is going to be used in the classroom. I oppose the merry-go-round model of tech integration.
- Explore Google Street view and taking photosphere images.
- Tackle organizing the physical materials and digital files that have accumulated over 4 days of ISTE insanity.