3 days of learning and networking are done and we have loaded up the sled dogs thanks to some new snow we are getting and are making our way home from a great weekend at ICE 2012! Here are 10 things I have learned this week at ICE:
10) If you do not let your students create in your class you are doing them and their learning a great disservice. I struggle sometimes to do this in my AP Economics class because I am tied to the AP curriculum – this week has motivated me to seek new ways for my students to create while still learn College Board curriculum.
9) We as teachers need to model appropriate mobile device etiquette both inside and outside our classrooms. We are educators looking to promote the use of technology by our students and in our profession – those of you who were playing Bejeweled Blitz or Words With Friends on your iPads or iPhones would be ticked off if your students were doing it in your class so you probably shouldn’t be doing it during the keynotes in the morning.
8) Those longjohns they served in the morning at Pheasant Run Resort were the best. Especially the vanilla ones. Like heaven on a plate.
7) The best sessions I attended were the ones where I didn’t just sit and listen but I interacted with those around me. Jon Orech’s session on Thursday and Dan Rezac’s session today were great because I didn’t just learn from one person, I learned from a ton of people.
6) I get “Twitter-Envy”. I had Twitter open all weekend and would follow the #ICE12 throughout the day – sometimes when I ended up in a less than engaging presentation I would get envious of those tweeting about how awesome their session is.
5) That penguin is one popular dude! They had “Get Your Picture With the Penguin” set up at the PLN plaza, and there was ALWAYS a line to get your picture taken with the penguin. Sadly the penguin and I never connected. Does he have a Twitter account?
4) The EdTech community is starting to feel more like home. I wrote about this yesterday a bit but it is worth repeating. This was the first year where I really knew quite a few people and it was great to connect with them again and make new connections as well. Whereas I felt like a total outsider on my first ICE a few years back, this time I felt like I was coming back to a family.
3) Cellphones still seem to be taboo. While I presented on this once again, I think we were the only (or one of two) presentation on using the power of cellphones in your classroom. We had good attendance at our presentation but I am still confused as to why it is such a taboo topic for schools to address. The kids have them in their pockets, we might as well use them for learning.
2) It was nice to go 3 days and hear the terms “collaborating” and “creating” when it comes to students in our classroom rather than “standards based testing” and “Making AYP”. It was like a breath of fresh (but snowy) air!
1) We have a ton of EdTech talent right here in Illinois. I was blown away by some of the things people are doing using technology to help push the learning in and OUT of the classroom. There is a lot of good stuff happening in EdTech around this neck of the woods and I am thrilled to be a part of the network to be able to learn from some outstanding people.
Thanks to all who made ICE 2012 happen. This conference always seems to come at the right time for me and really helps me get out of what I like to call “my February rut” that I slip into from year to year. I am definitely looking forward to next year!