TCEA Austin 2014
Technology Innovations You Can Use
Apps | Websites | Support for Teaching 21st Century Learners
TCEA is always a welcomed learning opportunity and this year did not disappoint. Aside from the freezing temperatures I had a great time navigating the Austin Convention Center to visit vendors and attend sessions. The sessions are created to refuel creativity and support teaching. In this post I will be sharing information I hope that you can find use for in your classrooms to increase productivity and engagement.
TCEA Presentation Highlights
"Are You Prepared to Be Googled?" by Jerri Davis of Eustace ISD. The majority of this session was what you may consider to be common sense digital etiquette. However, it may be useful to many. I'll state the most important points. 1.) Be mindful of your digital footprint. Have your Googled yourself and would your employer be fond of what you see? 2.) Post Wisely! Be sure that you remove suggestive photos or videos that may be misinterpreted. 3.) Be clear with friends and family to ask for permission before posting your image or tagging you on social media accounts. 4.) Check your privacy settings regularly, especially on Facebook! They change often, therefore you may want to check twice a month to ensure your private account is as you expect.
"Twitter is PD" by panelists @edtechchic, @friedtechnology, @carrierosstx, @bigpurplehat, and @ipadsammy. This session focused on the importance of using social media to build a bridge across status and platforms to seek out your own 'personal' development and be heard. 1.) Don't understand Twitter yet, it's ok! Just observe! 2.) Find others who you connect with that re-energize your desire to do what you do. 3.) Use Twitter to keep you positive! Search via #hashtags to find inspiration. 4.) It is an anytime, anywhere place for learning. Give yourself 10 minutes of immersion. Think of it as a fishing excursion. You can go in to 'fish out' just what you need for the day. You never know what you may find. 5.) Don't discount Twitter as not being the "real world". You can make real life long connections with like minded individuals. 6.) If you are overwhelmed with Tweets you can use sites like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to view multiple tweets by search category at one time.
"Leadership of 21st Century Learners" by Dr. Sheryl R. Abshire. This woman was such an amazing and motivational speaker! Her presentation focused on our ever changing and more technologically advanced 21st century learners. She started by stating characteristics of Net Gen Culture. A few of these were that students had a strong independence, needed inclusion, investigation, immediacy, sensitivity, they have free expression and strong views, and are emotionally and intellectually open. Dr. Abshire identified 'what this means' about of our students:
- They need opportunities to learn in and outside of the classroom.
- Kids are big communicators through social networking (maybe not in your room).
- "Engage me or enrage me" persona.
- They need control over their own learning experiences.
- Students are living in reflective atmospheres (through social media) and in turn are looking for immediate feedback.
What can teachers do to quench students needs?:
- Use a 21st century set of literacy. Relate, relate, relate!
- Think, "You don't have an opportunity to make mistakes, if you don't take any risks". Allow for opportunities to learn for personal successes and failures.
- Stay abreast to the future we are preparing our learners for. (see video below)
A few profound statements really roused me. One was when she mentioned that the way that we teach students and the way they learn is beginning to clash. That being said, we have to continue listening to our students and incorporating their interests into lessons. My students compared a few of my spreadsheet lessons to Minecraft, not by chance. Another interesting statement was, "parents have choices like never before, between charter and private schools". I've noticed this more recently than in the past. We have to be advocates for our students and also share with students how we embrace learning styles of students in this generation, because there are so many ways we do.