Presentation >> https://goo.gl/Yaf0ki
I try to get to MACUL every year. I think it's a great conference to stay updated and also network and collaborate with other local professionals in technology. I think there were some solid sessions. I come to these conferences with an open mind. Though I may know most of what they are talking about, I find that I see things through a different lens or learn a new way to use a resource. I think that's pretty cool. I always love thinking, "Wow, I didn't even think about that!"
I brought six of our elementary school technology leaders with me this year. It's important to me that there are strong technology leaders within each building. My hope is that each building has a resource to go to in-house. Maybe not the perfect system, but something is better than nothing, in my opinion, and teachers and students need strong technology support. Not just for technical aspects, but also for ideas on how to integrate technology thoughtfully into instruction. That's the key. I am lucky to work with such dedicated and strong elementary building leaders. They meet voluntarily and they are always willing to share their ideas and thoughts on the direction of technology at the K-5 level. An awesome group.
This year at MACUL was a little different for me as Jill Hill (ROMS technology integrationist) and myself presented on transitioning the 'media center' to a commons model. At the beginning of the presentation I discussed how the 'Commons Model' and active flexible learning spaces were synonymous in my mind. We are starting with the hub of our building. Our Commons is the biggest meeting space in the building. The space has the potential to cater to the many different types of learners we have in the building. We need to be able to accommodate the different learning modalities.
The goal of our presentation was to help others in their journey for flexible, active learning spaces. We provided an outline of our general process, discussed the changes in not only space, but also mind and pedagogy. It's not a change in JUST furniture. It is a change in practice. How we look at spaces. How we use resources. How we teach with those two in mind. The way we teach today in 2017 isn't how we taught in 2010. It shouldn't be. Change is scary, but inevitable. We must start shifting our thinking to what the 2017 learner needs.
Here are the three most important highlights from our presentation:
Despite both Jill and I being sick, we managed to make it through the presentation. I think it went well. I'm not sure how Jill feels, but I do think it's important to share our process because it may help someone else on their journey. It was my first time speaking at MACUL. Not going to lie... it was kind of scary. Ha! It can only get better from here, right? :)
Below is what I wrote up in my document for K-5 Technology Leaders. You may find the resources helpful. If you want the notes from the other sessions to look through, feel free to email me and I'll share my folder with you.
There's no data on this (sorry). No one will pat you on the back and you can't submit this in any domain area (though I'm sure you could try). This is kind of the best kept secret. One conversation, a few smiles, asking how a student's day is, showing that you care about them genuinely... will always make the difference. It could save a life.
I left the session thankful that I went. It was one of the most engaging PDs I have ever attended. I walked out with these reminders...You set the tone. Be up. Be visible. Build the relationships because that will ALWAYS make the difference. And remember to be in the moment. Take risks and have fun. This is what it's all about.