It was another fabulous day at ISTE! ISTE is so large that it is beneficial to have a plan and set a goal when you attend the conference. My plan was to attend as
In hindsight, my plan and goal were a bit too overarching and I should have had more been more specific in my intentions. I did come away with a lot of info, more
Chromebook App Hub
Kate Perry showcased the new Chromebook App Hub. This hub was developed because there was no place to find apps. Google formed a group of educators, admin, and more and they spoke of wanting apps, lesson ideas, resources, tips, and information on where to find apps for the classroom. Instead of focusing on just lesson plans, they focused on lesson ideas. They felt that since every classroom has a variety of needs, focusing on lesson ideas is more beneficial for educators.
When you click on “Ideas”, you can filter by category, age range, subject, and learning goal. Once you apply the filters, you find ideas from educators that includes two apps for the idea, tips, explanation of
Kate noted that the app developers had to strengthen their privacy in order to be included. When you click on the info of an app, it will give you information about the app, the company, the privacy policies, the developers, webinars about the app, and the lesson ideas that include them.
Design Thinking, Lesson Planning, and PD
Douglas Konopelko spoke about the Design Thinking (DT) model, which is Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test (EDIPT). His school chose design thinking because it is an intuitive process to use when teaching any subject. Their professional development focused on student-centered lesson planning as they teachers had the end goal of creating a lesson as a part of a large unit.
Much like our school did, the teachers in his school began their PD with creating a group of four educators. Each group had t
- Empathize – They had to answer questions about who their students are.
- D-Design: They designed a lesson plan or unit.
- I-Ideate – This was the portion where they asked questions pertaining to the lesson and the answers were framed with, “yes and…” to help develop the lesson.
- P – Prototype: They created physical models of their lessons.
- T-Test: They build out the lesson, deliver it to the class, and after you test it, you make revisions. In this case, they invited other teachers to watch the lesson. At the end, they collaborated to reflect and ask questions of each other. They were given one hour at the end of professional development to talk to each other about the process.
When asked about the educational technology they used in the DT process, he answered that they implemented technology such as
Our school had an extensive year-long training in the Design Thinking process. I feel that this training has made me reflect more on my teaching, in particular to empathy (walking in the shoes of my students) and student-centered activities. It is a valuable process and one that is beneficial for all teachers to experience, no matter the subject area that they teach. Though the process might seem intuitive in the field of music education, it still helps you reflect on your teaching and gives you some insight into how you might improve your teaching to reach all students, as opposed to the ones who gravitate towards music.
Future of the Classroom Panel
This panel included Chris Everett, Mike Reading, Rosen McQuillan, and Marcie Hebert. These four presenters on the panel work with
The panel focused on the topic of student-led learning. In this picture, you can see where this is happening.
They were asked about the foundational pieces that are most important in creating a student-led environment, and most of the panel cited support from the administration and parents, as well as time. Another answer was to understand the culture of your students because you must connect and involve your community. Finally, there must be trust. The relationships between the teacher and students, the teachers and admin, and the teachers and parents, must have trust.
When asked about how to begin a student-led classroom, the advice was given to start small. In addition, find colleagues or a PLN to support you. The question came up about the teacher that is reluctant, for whatever reason, and does not want to change their teaching style. The answers that were given focused on support. Those that fear change need support and coaching, especially when the process becomes challenging.
These answers reminded me of how well this was implemented in our school this year. Our school started the BrainSpace, a space where Design Thinking is implemented in a student-led classroom. The classroom teachers paired up with IT and assisted IT this first year as they taught the lessons that followed the ISTE Standards for Students. This coming year, the classroom teachers will take the lead in developing and implementing the projects for the BrainSpace that correlates with their curriculum.
I love the ISTE Expo! It is very large. Almost too large; however, if you focus on what you are looking for, you will find it valuable in numerous ways. The Expo has gurus of
I am exhausted mentally and physically, but an so happy that the school and my family supported my venture to ISTE! Tomorrow’s post is about the Arts/Technology Playground!
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com