10 Things I Learned at ICE 2012

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!


About jjanczak

A secondary social science teacher jumping into the world of education technology and trying to make classrooms centered around technology the rule, not the exception in the school systems.
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2 Responses to 10 Things I Learned at ICE 2012

  1. M. A. Hauck says:

    “Cellphones still seem to be taboo.” And for good reason. I continue to be amazed by how so many “caring and compassionate” adults who profess such a concern for youth continue to ignore the abundance of information about electromagnetic fields exposure with cell phone users.

    “The kids have them in their pockets, we might as well use them for learning.”

    Very sad, irresponsible reasoning and quite indicative of the post-modern approach to parenting. It reminds me of the adults who think it’s OK to give adolescents condoms because “they’re going to have sex anyway.” Part of an adult’s job is to impose limits. But if the adults are as addicted to these devices as the kids, then they don’t know any better.

    People wonder why I rant on these subjects, simplistically accusing me of “trolling.” The truth is, I care about kids in a more traditional and yes, mature way, which is based on protection through suspicion of much of what’s aimed at our youth. At least 75% of what’s aimed at our youth is corruptive and evil. More adults need to put aside their retro-adolescent yearnings and wake up to reality. You are no longer children. Stop trying to still think and act like them You want to model good behavior? How about modeling abstinence, stealth, and reserve?

    I know, that’s difficult when you willingly dance to the tune played by modern pop culture and its evil master Madison Avenue.

    Modern pop culture and all connected to it has NO place in the classroom. It’s anti-intellectual and appeals only to the lowest common denominator.

    From what I’ve read, this ICE 2012 wallows in that same muck.

  2. jjanczak says:

    I often wonder what color the sky is in your world, but I would image it would be all black because there is nothing bright about the comments you continually leave on writers pages.

    You pride yourself on making good arguments but all you do is belittle and attack people. You have no idea how I am as a parent nor do you have any right to attack me for it. I have no “retro-adolecent yearings” that you speak of and the one who needs to wake up to reality. We aren’t going back to this Walden Pond-esque society you often rant about.

    The real reason you troll on these boards is that you are nothing more than a coward who believes in insulting people to try to get his point across. While you are entitled to your beliefs, you are not intitled to insult.

    If you want to attack ICE, and all the long hours that the coordinators and presenters put into making it is a success that is your call – but ICE takes presenters of all kinds and I would encourage you to propsose a session about at ICE for next year. No computers, LCD projectors, or mobile devices needed – just you and your thoughts on EdTech. I am sure it would be a great session and spurn some good conversation. So come on out from behind the anonymity of a screenname and your blog where comments are not allowed and present here with us next year. I would be more than happy to contact you when the call for presentations comes out.

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