My summer started out with a trip to Noblesville, Indiana for iPadpaloozaIN 2016 or #iplzain16 (on Twitter). I like this conference because it is a small regional conference that reminds me a lot of iEngage-Berwyn. It gets big name speakers because of its affiliation with the iPadpalooza brand!
Me chatting with Drew & Brad before their keynote
The day started with a keynote from my favorite keynote team - +Drew Minock and +Brad Waid. They made us laugh, they made us cry and they gave stuff away. What more could you ask for in a keynote?! Their theme was - relationships matter. This really resonated with me this year since I did my entire end of the year reflection with my team about how relationships should be at the base of all the things we do in education. This picture is funny, because I was up on stage last year with +Carl Hooker during his keynote. I have to find a way to get up on stage again next year. During the keynote I sat with +Kristin Ziemke and +Don Goble. I met Kristin a few months ago at a Bright Bytes event, and Don is a friend of hers. They are both Apple Distinguished Educators and good friends. I could tell from sitting between them.
I presented during the 1st break out session. I did one of my favorite presentations. It is called Tech Coach Therapy. I talk about the Berwyn South model of coaching, and then encourage all of the participants to discuss 4 questions and connect with each other. Being a coach can be a lonely or isolating job. Many times coaches do not have anyone to bounce ideas off of, and colleagues think that coaches are administrators, when in fact the majority are still in the teacher's contract. I really enjoy helping coaches from across different districts connect. There is real power in telling your story when you are a coach. We can all learn so much from just listening to each other. I ask the coaches to put their contact information into a Google form and then I share the response spreadsheet with everyone, so that they can follow each other and keep the conversations going.
One of two groups of teachers telling their story.
One thing that made me feel really good was that Kristin told me that she heard a group of teachers talking about how beneficial my session was for them. My second session was a new one for me. I did a session on using +TouchCast for getting students to demonstrate their thinking and understanding. I was glad to practice on a smaller audience. The session started with about 15 people in it, but by the end there were only 4. I think the main reason for this was because my session was a 2 hour workshop but there were 1 hour workshops that started 1/2 way through my session. Quite a few of the attendees excused themselves to go to another session. I left a lot of work time, so I think a few people played a little and then tried to make it to at least one more session. I was a little disappointed that everyone did not stay for the entire session, but I understand that everyone needs to go where they grow. There is an art to maximizing your time at any ed tech conference that has breakout sessions.
Touchcast is a great iOS app for all classrooms and all types of educators. If you have never tried this free app - download it HERE. Refer to this blog post on 1 way to use Touchcast in the classroom. I had to get home to my family, so I was not able to stay for day 2 to be a learner. I was bummed because I missed all three of Kristin Ziemke's sessions.
Hats off to the IpadpaloozaIN crew. They did another amazing job organizing this conference. I can't wait for next year. If you are free in June and looking for a great setting for an ed tech conference this is the place for you.