The Teach Better Team ( Tiffany Ott, Rae Hugart, Chad Ostrowski, Jeff Gargas, and others) put together a two day conference with some national draw, held right around the corner from me (literally 200 yards away, yes I walked). And, Yes, that makes two great education conferences held in my area. Finally! I think there were about 200-250 people. Each time slot had 6 - 10 sessions to choose from, and a great variety of topics and presenters.
I did not present at this conference. Rather, I volunteered to be a room helper. I made sure the speakers had what they needed and introduced them. I also took some pics and posted quotes and resources to Twitter at #teachbetter19. P. Sloan Joseph shared about procedures, behavioral interventions and free/inexpensive rewards for appropriate digital behavior in the classroom. Ariel Jankord gave us examples of integrating coding and matching them up with content standards. Dr. Nicholas Sutton gave a brief preview of his session on creating quality district professional development. Haylee Harwick taught us about using podcasts in the classroom. Meghan Arnold and Heidi Perry demonstrated about using hooks to capture your students interest. Tara Martin took us through the why and how of using #BookSnaps. Melanie Rucker share about reaching students, parents and the community through valuing student voice and empowering them as scholars. Beth Manning helped us learn about the introverts in our schools, and how we need to work with that half of our population. (I am so glad that had this session at the conference. Every conference should have sessions about this topic. BTW read the book Quiet). Alex Valencic gave examples of using menu’s, similar to a restaurant, for students in homework assignments.
Looking forward to #TeachBetter20.
Teach Better promotes and helps schools teachers with the idea of Mastery Learning. There is a #MasteryChat on Twitter “When you know better, do better”. The TB team talks about being better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today. We can all get a little better, do a little better, each day. There is a book , and a podcast.
Kent State University held a conference at the beginning of November, Learning Innovations 2019 . I am so glad they created this conference. I am tired of going up to Cuyahoga County for all the education stuff. They talked like they want to do more of this and have more reach into helping the k12 arena. So that will be good.
I did not present at this conference, though I had a time slot for an informal #Maker meetup. So I only took a small tote of things to build with. Unfortunately, the meetup was at the same time as the ONE #MakerSpace session, but two people came and we had a good conversation. One of them had never played with LED’s and batteries and copper tape, so they found those things for their classroom.
I did get to attend some sessions. First there was Annette Lang and Katie Mayl from the BioMed Science Academy. They shared how they use #DesignThinking in their PBL based classes . They have incorporated a geat deal from what they learned reading Launch by John Spencer and AJ Juliani. Maria Hawkins, Director of eSports Operations, shared about KSU’s eSports program as well as how they are helping local k12 get into the eSports arena. eSports is a billion dollar industry. It is a team sport, so kids are learning those soft skills, like collaboration and communication, in addition to critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and community. Annette Kratkowski from the Education Department, Hilary Kennedy form the Library, and Julie Messing form Entrepreneurship/Innovation talked to us about KSU’s Design Innovation Initiative. They have created Design Innovation Nodes around campus, makerspaces or resource labs that foster collaboration and have tools & resources for students and faculty. These will tie in to the DI Hub that will open in Fall 2020. They want to get more outreach to local k12, and we talked about ways to do that : a cohort, partnering for k12 events like Hacks or coding workshops, edcamp. They have a newsletter at www.kent.edu/launchnet that we hope is a start to creating a network.
I hope we can create an area network for k12+ for Design & Innovation. I think DI is the same as #MakerEd.
At the end of October, I got to present about #MakerSpace ‘s and #microbit at the Ohio Tech Summit at The Point, at Otterbein College. It is the first time that I have presented multiple times in a day, so that was nice. The #MakerSpace / #MakerMindset sessions were full (25-30), awesome. I take a case of #Maker materials and tools with me for people to check out, play with, make, create.
The first session was in a lab style room, so I spread the playthings out on the tables. No one played with anything. Not even the open box of Lego’s. As soon as they came in and sat down, they didnt get up. I prompted them at the beginning, didnt start talking right away. I referred to things. I prompted at the end and a couple of people checked out the cardboard cutters. Usually people make something. It was a good session, lots of ideas and questions flowing from participants.
Then I had to scurry to the #microbit session, which i was doing with Dr Paul Post from OSU. He had a car kit from SparkFun and I had my twelve microbit kits that I put together with some stuff from Roger Wagner (MakerBit). We had 10 people and got them started coding a microbit. Bluetooth is always a pain for some reason, but it is very easy from a computer.
In the afternoon, my second #MakerSpace / #MakerMindset session was in a room set up with rows of chairs. The Point is very good with technology, so there were monitors on each wall. I dragged two tables in from the vendors (not being used) and set the toys up in the “back” of the room. My computer was at the “front” of the room. Luckily I remembered my remote control, as I did the preso from the “back”. It made people turn chairs around and have a different, more relaxed setting than trapped in rows. But it was not conducive for people to get their hands on the materials. Some stayed after I was done and looked at some things.
The Point at Otterbein is only a couple of years old. It is designed for collaboration, co-working, professional development, events, makerspace, and classrooms. There are some businesses working out of the space. In addition, it has small meeting rooms and food service. The Maker Space is pretty well equipped (wood, metal, laser, vinyl, 3D printing). It is a nice space. They want all University departments to utilize the features as well as collaborate with each other