Thursday, May 14, 2015

What is ISTE? (Part 3: From the Comfort of your Couch)

In previous posts you learned about the International Society for Technology in Education [What is ISTE? (Part 1)] and how to stay connected all year long [What is ISTE? (Part 2: ISTE throughout the year)]. But traveling to Philadelphia for this year’s annual conference might not be in the cards for you. Never fear—this blog will help bring ISTE to you!  You can attend ISTE sessions online June 28- July 1 and follow the conference hashtag #ISTE2015.
One way to attend ISTE remotely is to participate virtually with ISTE Live. ISTE Live offers you the opportunity to attend three days of sessions from the comfort of your couch. For a fraction of the conference registration costs, you can connect to all three keynotes, over 15 sessions, and multiple peer networking opportunities. Each session recorded for ISTE Live will be moderated by a volunteer that will facilitate an online Q&A. In fact, nine of the moderated sessions will be moderated by your very own BVSD Ed Tech team members. We hope to see you online at ISTE Live!

In addition to attending live recorded sessions, you can connect to ISTE for free through the power of social media. Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more are all used by ISTE attendees to share their professional development and learning connections. Use the hashtag #ISTE2015 to join in the conversation. Educators are already posting, so jump in now and don’t miss out!

Save the Date: Mark your calendars for the summer of 2016, when Denver will host the ISTE conference in June. This is an opportunity you cannot miss!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Digi Day 2015 Recap

On Saturday, April 25, over 160 educators and staff attended the 3rd annual Digital Innovative Learning Day at Angevine Middle. This high-energy day of learning and inspiration directly supported BVSD’s Success Effect strategic plan, specifically the ‘Nurturing Talent’ component, which addresses ongoing professional development and tapping into the passion of educators.

The theme for the day was “OK to Play, OK to Fail”, a mindset that encourages people to take risks, try something new, learn from their mistakes, and try again. This theme was embedded throughout the workshop.

Our morning keynote was given by Travis Allen, founder of the iSchool Initiative. This inspiring and passionate young man challenged all of us to embrace the growth mindset, and to move from being anchors to being sailboats in the sea of lifelong learning.
Travis Allen delivered the morning keynote address.
Throughout the day participants attended 3 learning sessions, choosing from a total of 27 offerings hosted by BVSD educators, administrators, and special guests. Sessions included:

Jamie Smith and Mary Waddell, both teachers from Nederland Elementary, led a session called "Making Information Text Accessible for Primary Students".

Between each session, participants shared, learned, and laughed during built-in collaboration times. For those moments when technology wasn’t cooperating, we had tech medics and members of IT on hand to handle technical difficulties.
IT members Joni Gates, Doug Healy, and Andrew Moore were on hand for support.

Our lunch keynote was given by Ed Tech Specialist Erika Morreale with her guest, Columbine Elementary teacher Susan Parsons. Their stories reiterated our theme of “OK to Play, OK to Fail,” with a special emphasis on the growth mindset and becoming a lifelong learner.
Erika delivered the lunch keynote.
Our amazing and generous sponsors helped make the day more fun. Otterbox donated cases for our prize raffle; reps from CDW, Schoology, and Tech4Learning were there to support teachers, answer questions, and help facilitate sessions; and Jason’s Deli helped pay for our lunch and gave out coupons. We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors!

So what did our participants have to say about Digi Day?
“I love the opportunity to work with and learn from colleagues!”
“It was worth giving up a Saturday.”
“It was an awesome, inspiring day! Thanks!”
“I learned something in every session I attended.”
“I liked the keynote presentations! I also appreciated that they were given when nothing else was scheduled. I liked hearing about different people's technology experiences.”

Participants dressed up at the photo booth.
Digi Day participants engaged in a vibrant backchannel conversation on Twitter during the event using the hashtag #digidaybvsd. Here are just a few comments:
Twitter clip.jpg

100% of Digi Day participants who responded to our survey said they would recommend that their colleagues attend a Saturday Workshop provided by BVSD’s Ed Tech Team. That makes us even more excited to expand this event on August 3 & 4 when we host Digi Fest. Mark your calendars—more info is coming soon!
The Angevine library was filled with energetic, engaged educators.