Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#iplza16 Day 1

Today was a wonderful day packed with music, food, and amazing educator energy at iPadpalooza! iPadpalooza is a learning festival in Austin that began five years ago by Carl Hooker @mrhooker in Eanes ISD. I attended two summers ago and have been looking forward to returning to this unique learning experience ever since.

A task was issued from George Couros @gcouros to reflect on the day after one of his sessions today. In an effort to reflect after a few hours of inner-put, I am going to use an idea I gained from Jon Gordon @JonGordon11 on Twitter. This exercise is a great tool to use after a workshop or meeting that he shared from Dr. Christie Whitbeck (Fort Bend ISD). 

It is the LEAD exercise: 
L - What LEFT an impression on you?
E - What ENERGIZED you?
A - What do you want to ASK more about?
D - What will you DO DIFFERENTLY as a result of what you heard?

As I think back to the day and review my notes, these are a few things I took (but not limited to):

L - I had the privilege to hear George Couros speak again today (I heard him last week at our LEADing Digital Innovation at GCISD conference and it was fantastic!) and his focus was creating and maintaining a digital footprint. During the presentation, George googled audience members (with their permission) as well as viewed their Twitter profiles for all to see on the big screen. It made such an impact on everyone! Some people joined Twitter for the first time once they saw how in less than an hour there were resources provided for a question that was posed. Some people changed their Twitter profiles or Twitter handles to promote the growth of their PLN (Professional Learning Network) - make sure it defines you as an educator and/or learner! Others made adjustments as clarity was provided for just how interesting it is to Google yourself. Try it! Would you hire yourself? Now... what are you doing to instill these skills for promoting a healthy digital footprint for your students? For your own children? This is something that is constantly on my mind, to model for my students and children how to communicate and represent myself on social media. Are you modeling, or protecting? This LEFT an impression on me, for sure.

E - The energy that radiates from being surrounded by amazing educators with a passion for learning is something everyone has to experience. The connections made standing in line for lunch, gathering while listening to the band, and following the hashtag via Twitter are incredible! I was able to meet several people from my PLN today Face To Face! That is such a fun experience. It is always nice to bump into educators that I've connected with and learn from, even though they live miles and miles away. It ENERGIZED me to feel the passion for learning bouncing off the walls.

A - Two of the sessions I attended focused on Makerspaces. As I lead forward, I plan to inspire and support others to provide Makerspaces for students in their classrooms. I desire to know more about how others implemented their Makerspace and hope to observe some new ideas over the next few days. (I'm also thrilled that Amazon delivered Launch yesterday, so I am excited to start reading it soon!) I have many questions to ASK regarding Makerspaces.

D - While attending a very entertaining session by two presenters from Australia @janellemmaurer and @TerryJacka - they shared how they used a spin on Carl Hooker's APPmazing Race for professional development in their district. This sparked my attention and I'm very interested in sharing this idea with other leaders! They did a play on STAR WARS and called it STAFF WARS. They had groups of mixed leveled members - someone from elementary, someone from middle school, someone from high school, admin, etc. I love the idea of connecting others! Tasks were shared via email to those that chose to participate. The tasks were combined in a ThingLink with directions provided. One of my favorite tasks included a support staff selfie - to promote morale and bridge communication. Another task was for the team to create a team hashtag to promote the use of Twitter to connect and share your story. The ladies shared they have a book, AppMazing Prescription, in the iBooks store. Check it out! This sounds like an engaging opportunity for professional learning while promoting connections, collaboration, communication, and experiencing technology as a learner. I plan to share this idea for an option to DO professional learning DIFFERENTLY.

THIS is all from just ONE day. I didn't even talk about the mini-keynotes and how they made me laugh and also ugly cry right there on the second row! So inspiring!! I'm looking forward to another two days of this amazing learning experience! Stay tuned...

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