Thursday, July 2, 2015

#ISTE2015 Takeaways

This is the first year in many years that I was #NotAtISTE15 

I will admit that I missed going and wish I could have found the funds to go. I'm going to begin saving now for #ISTE16 in Denver. This is just too valuable of a tech conference to miss.

Regardless of my absence, I would like to share a few finds that I bookmarked from following the #ISTE2015 hashtag for just 15 minutes this morning:

#1 Gynzy

Having just finished a two day SMART Notebook Training, I was pleased to find this fantastic resource for use on Interactive Whiteboards.  Gynzy is packed with fun tools and activities for grades K-8. Create lessons and add media to your lessons.  After playing with Gynzy for a short time I was pleased with the simplicity and helpful tutorials.  

This video is an amazing example of the Elizabeth Forward School District bringing new learning spaces to their schools and the incredible impact that it is having on student attendance and learning. This video is so inspiring and reminds us of the necessity of updating our schools which have stayed the same for far too long.

Alice Keeler shared her Google Spreadsheet for personalizing a rubric and running an add-on script to make a copy for each student on your roster. The copies of the rubric automatically appear as individual tabs on the spreadsheet with the students' names on the tabs. Alice also shared the steps for using this Rubric Template to easily share the rubric with students in Google Classroom.  I tried out the spreadsheet as was very impressed with the possibilities of its use in the classroom!  

Another great share out from Alice Keeler was The Tile App.  This fabulous app lets a person find any object that they have attached a "tile" to. Alice uses this for her luggage when traveling.  The best way for me to learn about the Tile App was to watch this video:

The only thing holding me back is the cost of the tiles / 4 of them cost $70.  I'm not sure I can justify that expense.

#4 Emojis on a Mac

I love my Mac and I'm always looking for new tips and tricks to use the device to its full capacity. This is a simple tip to open emojis quickly on a mac. Simply use the key combo: Control + Command + Spacebar and you too can type things like this:

#5 Quotes from Ed Tech Leaders

What I really love about ISTE are all of the positive and inspiring thoughts from the attendees. So many great words of advice.  

It's not surprising that the overall themes of ISTE2015 showing up in these quotes are what I believe is at the heart of education today:
  • Don't just be a talker, be a doer and make things happen
  • Relationships and people matter the most
  • Students and learning should always be our focus
  • Be the best educator and person that you can be.
  • Be kind, considerate and a team player
Next year I will hopefully be attending ISTE2016 in Denver, CO.  In the meantime I will be spending a lot more time on Twitter sifting through the tweets from #ISTE2015.

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