I had the opportunity to attend an excellent workshop on Friday. Our regional information center holds a number of large events each year, with its biggest, the Tech Expo, occurring in early April. This year’s Tech Expo was an excellent experience, and it reminded me (though I didn’t need much reminding) that I have much to learn.
The day has two keynotes (a morning and an afternoon) built in, and both keynotes provided excellent examples of why we should strive to fail, as it is the only way that we can ever truly learn.
Along with excellent keynote opportunities, the conference is designed around best practice sessions in technology and learning, with the sessions being facilitated by educators from across the region. Along with being a great opportunity to see colleagues, and a chance to watch them showcase their great work, the Tech Expo provides for a look at what’s new, relevant, and “front and center” when it comes to integrating technology in instruction.
I had the pleasure of attending four breakouts, all of which were great, and all of which reminded me how much great stuff there is out there for our learners, whether young or old. The first session I attended was facilitated by one of our local district’s Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology and it was filled with great resources as well as a look at what schools/districts of the future should focus on regarding technology; truly a great session to prime the pump for thinking during the rest of the day.
The second session I attended showcased the power of virtual teaching. Two of our local districts formed a great team and created student groups that met virtually to help each other learn and grow. It was a great extension to examples of Google Hangout work I had seen before.
After lunch I visited with an assistant superintendent and his team as they talked PD shifts. I loved the direction they were taking; it agreed greatly with my thoughts on what good PD is, and how we can begin to move towards it (a big part of their message was the need to build trust and focus on the people in the audience).
Finally, I attended a session facilitated by an excellent colleague on the power of VR. It was amazing to see how she incorporated virtual reality into her biology lessons. I was taken aback by the depth it provided to her already engaging work.
As I left the conference, I was further gratified to work with such amazing educators and districts. I left feeling like I was the least intelligent person in the building. And, in reality, when colleagues are this phenomenal, it isn’t a bad feeling to have! :)