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What I learned at IETC – Illinois Education and Technology Conference

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Illinois Education and Technology Conference in Springfield, IL

As we move more and more into more interesting tools, websites, and changing our teaching methods, the need to mentor those who are just beginning to use these tools such as new teachers and administrators is becoming a greater need.

Of course, it is “ALL ABOUT ME!” So, I will start with the f2f contact I got. Meeting with others and discussing what works and what does not work is an integral part of any conference. We all are struggling with those who are still in the dark with infusing curriculum with technology, some are other teachers, some are administrators. I do not have a “magic wand” that can change these people into completely changing how they “do business,” but first I have been rethinking how we conduct conferences, but that is a completely different blogpost.

Michele Widdes, (SRS 8th grade LA Teacher) Presenting at the poster session

I feel the need to mentor more and more.  That is why at the Illinois Education Technology Conference this week in Springfield, Illinois, I encouraged two of my colleagues to participate in a poster session and presentation. They were quite nervous, but I told them they had much to share and I would be the tech support.  After the two events, one poster and one presentation,  they really enjoyed the experience and learned so much from the other presenters.

On to the meat of the conference and the cool things I learned.

1. Keeping track of assignments

http://soshiku.com/

Online assignment notebook, save documents, share assignments with other, and a calendar.  Many college students are using this. I am going to “beta” test this some of my students, however they have to be on the network and have internet connection.

2. Online conferencing

http://www.bigbluebutton.org/

An excellent free, open source alternative to Skype and Elluminiate. This looks really cool. I wanted to start online learning with some of my gifted and talented students and parents, this might be the ticket. Plus, it’s free. I have to see if you can archive the chat. Still come testing to be done.

3. Pete Powerpoint

http://www.pppst.com/

Downloadable PowerPoints. You can save it as a copy, personalize the PowerPoint for classroom use.

4. Stop PowerPoint Paranoia – Annette Lamb

http://eduscapes.com/sessions/pop

A wonderful presentation that got me thinking about HOW we assign projects and the end result we want. You could spend DAYS looking at all the information and links here.

Terri Zazove, (SRS Gifted Teacher) Presenting Book Trailers

5. Book Trailers

http://musictechie.pbworks.com/w/page/32772360/Book-Trailers

This was Terri Zazove’s presentation about doing Book Trailer with the fifth graders and student examples.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed the personal interaction I had with other “techies,” and the colleagues that attended with me. The four hours down to Springfield and back created a stronger bond with the three of us and it can only help the collaborative projects we create in the future.

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