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ISTE 2017

I recently returned from my first ISTE lived up to ALL my expectations!  For years I have heard about what an amazing learning adventure ISTE is and I am so glad I got the chance to experience it first hand with friends.  

San Antonio was a fabulous city.  I loved visiting the Alamo and seeing the River Walk in person.  I loved spending time with 4 other librarians from my district and I loved trying a couple of new things that pushed me out of my comfort zone. We participated in a Global Collaboration Network Scavenger Hunt.  The first part took us all around the convention center (we totally rocked that part) the second part took us out onto the streets of San Antonio (we totally didn't rock that part) but we did have fun, made it to the final destination, and we didn't come in last! We also attended (not participated in) the Ed Tech Karaoke event at the beautiful Aztec Theater just off the River Walk.  It was so fun just watching!  People are so darn talented. We ate a lot of yummy tacos, walked many steps, and laughed so hard we couldn't stand up.  

Not only did I attend ISTE, but I PRESENTED at ISTE along with two other AMAZING teacher-librarians from my district, Megan Bright and Teresa Barnett.  We shared how we blend MakerSpace Technology into our Library Programming at a poster session.  This stemmed from a Liberty School District Foundation Grant that funded class sets of five different robots that we rotate between buildings and use to teach coding at each grade level.  We also included several of our other Maker units and other library programming topics such as Broadcast Clubs.  If you are interested in viewing our presentation and all the information it has, you may access it HERE.  It was a quick two hours of talking and connecting with educators at various stages of bringing MakerSpaces to their schools, libraries, or classrooms all over the world.  
Our Poster Session Set Up. 

Our postcard that we handed out at our session. Megan Bright is a Canva Queen!  So many people asked how we made these!

So, in my first years of elementary librarianship, my district embarked on a pretty big partnership with our local college, William Jewell.  We took 4th and 5th grade classes up to the college to work on a project using the program HyperStudio.  At our school sites, each student scanned 5 photos and then used those to create a slideshow in the computer lab at Jewell.  The kids were so impressed with the comfy, adjustable chairs and the computer screens built into the desks and under glass.  We also took a tour of the college, learned its history, and ate in the cafeteria (kids' favorite part).  In all, it was a FABULOUS learning experience.  As often happens, the program dwindled away and we no longer used HyperStudio; I remember being disappointed. 

A couple weeks before ISTE, I received an email from Roger Wagner THE DESIGNER OF HYPERSTUDIO asking if I would be interested in trying out HyperDuino, a system that links physical student-made curriculum based projects to video and other digital media that explains their project.  Would I be interested?  Heck yes!  I immediately emailed him back and told him of my experiences with HyperStudio and I would love to try out HyperDuino.  It arrived a few days later, I unboxed it and realized that it was going to be something I could give to my MakerKid's campers this summer to see if they can get it up and working.  

As we were tearing down our poster session, up walks Roger Wagner!  He introduced himself and we were totally in awe as he continued talking about his ed tech work.  After a bit, he took a pin off his lapel and placed it on my sweater "knighting" me into a secret society of HyperStudio lovers!  He told me the significance of the images on the pin and to be on the look out for other members.


Leading up to ISTE I had settled on a few areas that I wanted to focus on...

  • 3D printing: I am definitely still learning.
  • Video production:  My kids are going to produce the book trailers that I use this year to promote books.
  • Broadcasting:  We just completed our first year of broadcast club and it can be improved
  • Professional Development formats for teachers and schools:  This has ALWAYS been an issue, how is PD for classroom teachers relevant to PE or SpEd teachers?
  • Genius Hour: Let's face it, there is always room for improvement here!

Let's talk sessions.  I went to a great session on Touchcast, a free program for broadcasting and video production.  We use Touchcast for our student broadcasts and I learned some new components that will help streamline our work.  

LPS will have BrainPop district wide so we attended a session on video production that was very informative.  I also took a photo of me reading with Moby for our summer reading promotion.

Unfortunately, I never did find a good session on teaching with the Genius Hour philosophy. I did hear that there was a great session, but of course I missed that one.  That was one frustrating part of ISTE...there was SO MUCH going on at one time you had to pick and choose what you were going to attend and sometimes you made the wrong selection:(.

The VERY BEST session I attended was called, No More Flat Stanley presented by Karen Bosch, a K-8 Technology Instructor from Michigan.  She acquired a Dremel 3D printer for 1 year by submitting her Flat Stanley lesson idea to the Dremel company and became a Dremel Ambassador.  For the last 3 years my kids and I had only been using Tinkercad to design our prints but Karen shared all about the Morphi app...and the designer of the app was sitting right behind me!  She came to Karen's session because Karen had promoted the app so often and used it so successfully. Luckily, I do have 15 ipads in the MakerSpace so we can begin utilizing Morphi along with TinkerCad (3rd-5th graders all have Chromebooks).  I love that I can even see using Morphi with my younger kiddos (K-2nd students all have ipads). Morphi is not a free app, if I remember correctly, it is $4.99 if you add it to 20 or more devices. 

I LOVED all the poster session and playgrounds. It was nice to stop and talk to people and ask questions at your own pace.  It was also nice to walk past those sessions that did not meet your needs.   This is where I found some interesting ways to make PD relevant to all educators in my building.

Hmmm, ISTE is in Chicago next year...close enough to drive:)


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