This year at ISTE12, I decided to attend as many sessions as I possibly could (instead of just plopping myself down in the Blogger’s Cafe) and will try to write several posts about the sessions I attended.
I have to admit that I had 2 favorite sessions at ISTE12. The first being the After Keynote where Sir Ken took questions from the audience — but I am still reflecting on that post.
And my second favorite session was the IGNITE….Monday Morning at 8:30am.
I have to admit that I went to IGNITE because it was the easiest way to see MANY from my network at one time — because I honestly wanted to go hear new people this year rather than the same old gang….so having many of them in one place/one time seemed like a win win.
So, I got there early, sat with a few friends and prepared to learn…..
and here are my thoughts.
It was a roller coaster of a session. There were some highs, some slow downs, some radical curves, one huge turn around, and then a comfortable ending. (here is the link if you wish to view it later yourself: http://www.slideshare.net/kittygloom/iste-2012-ignite-sessions-monday-session)
Chris Walsh started off the session with pretty much a commercial for Infinite Thinking Machine — but since I am a huge FAN of Infinite Thinking Machine….I was fine with this. I learned a bit more about the show, the people on the show, and think it was a nice beginning to this session. I call this session the ride up to the top of the roller coaster.
Mary Ann Domanska was next — and she shared about writing ideas to use in the elementary classroom. Since I often feel elementary is forgotten in so many sessions, I paid special attention. For me, this was the peak of the hill right before we zipped down to the first “oh mi gosh” moment for me.
Next came Traci House – and for me – the highlight of all the IGNITE this day. She shared how her school had been hit by a F4 tornado and how they rebuilt their entire campus in one summer. How so many came together to make this happen and what they achieved should have been an entire session. I had a lot of questions, I was clapping with appreciation, thanks, and excitement and I wanted to know more! This was the first downhill thrill of IGNITE.
We wandered next into a fast curve with Rushton Hurley — and if someone coughed, sneezed, or cleared their throat near you — you missed 500 words. He talked fast — but he shared his journey of how he started his company and how he loves assisting educators in so many ways. It zipped by, I cannot even remember 1/2 of it — but HURRAY — it is archived.
Next came David Jakes……a climb back up to get ready for another dip at the top!! Two keepers from this session — #1: we really really REALLY need to start rethinking the ordinary and the “always” ways we use things and start to look for alternatives and options AND #2: One of the biggest “what ifs” will be — what will happen when YOU — and when your students — start to personalize their learning.
Onward to Vince Leung — and I need to admit that during this section my back began to spasm and I had a hard time concentrating…. but I did appreciate how he made me start to compare how I always did things to new ways of thinking. Again, another view from the top of the hill — before we took another thrilling dip.
And that would be Lisa Parisi’s talk on The Test Train. She is truly making an effort to stop feeding her students to the testing monster. She shared creative ideas that are working, strong stances she is taking, and letting her students play their way into learning with hands on options.
Onward again to another slow climb up the roller coaster with Justin Reich. He talked about the effectiveness of using wikis with students, he shared about school inequity, and he talked about the Matthew law. My mind was racing — and what he shared was good….but honestly, he was the lead into the totally UPSIDE DOWN moment of the roller coaster.
Will Richardson — now I have heard WILL many times — but this segment of IGNITE is the best time I have heard Will speak. His slides were well done so that we could see his point — and the ONE MOMENT which I shall remember for ever is “I WANT STRANGERS TO FIND ME ON THE INTERNET” and I want my students to as well. ….. I don’t want my students (and myself) only be found by those we know — but I want for me — and for them — to be found and to influence MANY — and to do that — we MUST be sharing online! Will honestly turned my thoughts upside down and I was breathless!
We started coming to the end of the roller coaster with Alfred Solis and he shared about student involvement and ownership in projects. He talked about an event not to long ago where they anticipated a group of 2,000 and 50,000+ showed up. I liked his enthusiasm and that he is thinking outside so many boxes.
And we rolled back into the end of the roller coaster with Selena Ward — by now I was exhausted and I was pleased that the session ended with her. She shared about movies, and edcamps, and working with junior high students and drama. I am not sure I agree with her that we won’t be teaching Steven Spielberg’s — because who knows what our kids will be when they grow up — but I also appreciated that she reminded us to keep it real. And her final slide — to be the spark — was the best ending to a very wild ride of a session.
Almost each of the session leaders put a “info” slide in their presentation – which you can find on the slide share link — and if you do not see that info — do as Will suggests — and google them.
This session was a VERY VERY good way to start ISTE — I thought the pace was perfect –
a wild roller coaster ride of information.