I asked Tony how the conference came to be. He said that it was an outcome of a Clarity Survey conducted back in November of 2015. While analyzing the data, he began considering how the district could provide technology training. Specifically, if the district would be interested in utilizing one of the annual professional development days to focus solely on technology and the utilization of it in the classroom. The district agreed. Along with Marco Arellano, our math and science coach, and Rauna Fox, our curriculum coordinator, they began creating the PD menu of session topics, schedule, registration and evaluation methods.
The PD menu offered 15 choices, ranging from GAFE, Synergy Grade Book, math apps, and multimedia skills to my own presentation: Google Classroom. The presenters were tech coaches, school leaders and, most importantly, teachers that were implementing technology in their classrooms. He wanted teachers to be able to connect with their presenters. And what better way, than to have the teachers teach their peers.
My sixth grade teacher partner, Jordy Tollefson, and I presented Google Classroom for Beginners. Jordy is an extremely patient and knowledgeable teacher. I’m a bit excitable and thrive on personal connections. But we have one thing in common, we are passionate about our profession. After starting with an introductory video, we assisted teachers in creating accounts, navigated through the basics of GC, provided a first lesson, and shared how we’re implementing GC ourselves. Each session had it’s own personality, much like each of our classrooms.
I’ve been living by the 4Cs this year. And boy, did this experience incorporate them all, especially collaboration. The district provided a planning day for presenters prior to the seminar to design their sessions, food services teamed up and arranged for healthy snacks for both breakfast and between sessions, presenters enjoyed lunch together on the conference day catered by a local establishment, Junior’s Cafe, Wilson Junior High teachers graciously opened their doors for both presenters and participants, and the team gathered one more time to debrief the conference.
I went to Tony one last time to discuss the evaluation data. He said that of the 190 submitted evaluations, 100% of the attendees considered the event to be of value. As evidence, look at the chart below.
Some survey responses. . .
* “I walked away from today, realizing I know so very little and desiring to learn more.”
* “I really enjoyed my day. I am so excited about going back into my classroom and using my Lenovo with confidence.”
* “I appreciated the fact that the district used our input to put the technology conference together.”
* “I am very happy to have participated in the FIRST ANNUAL technology conference today. Way to ECESD for hosting this.
Some suggestions . . .
* “Smaller classes”
* “Grade specific”
* “Session descriptions prior to registering”
* “Presenter info prior to registering”
I’d personally like to thank our Superintendent, Jon LeDoux, and Assistant Superintendent, Reuben Castro, for honoring the 21st Century educational system that our students are a part of. This “Net Generation” is embarking on a future of careers that aren’t even in existence. Ones that rely on collaboration, innovation, and multi-disciplinary skills. By preparing teachers with the skills and resources to teach the citizens of tomorrow, we’re on a path towards success.
Proud to be part of the ECESD tech team,