Friday, June 28, 2013


June has been a whirlwind month full of wonderful and exciting experiences. Most notable have been my trips to Hilton Head, SC and San Antonio, TX for the NMC and ISTE conferences. While both are very different educational technology conferences, I often found myself reflecting on the following three themes:
  • It's not about the technology, it's about the relationships with students and colleagues.
  • Use the technology tools to personalize, support, and enhance learning experiences.
  • Flatten classroom walls and expand networks to provide students with more global opportunities.
Since I'm still technically "on vacation" in Austin, here are some quick highlights from both trips:

K-12 Ambassadors
While I've only met a few of the Ambassadors in my travels, I do know that they have all been great people, we've had inspiring conversations, and have made lifelong connections.

Troy, Lisa, David, Jonathan, Holly, me, Sue
photo courtesy of Laurie Burress

While at NMC I sat down and struck up a conversation with another attendee. The more we talked, the more I learned about his work (and the more it sounded familiar...). Turns out, I was chatting with Reuben Puentedura, developer of the SAMR model, himself! 

Steps to EdTech Transformation

2013 Horizon Report
This is an amazing time to be an educator. The NMC's Horizon Report is a great way to stay on top of emerging trends and get a sense for what's coming down the pike. Download your copy here. 

Jane McGonical
I'm not a gamer, but I love the idea of using gaming techniques in the classroom. I loved Jane's opening keynote and the connections she made with the audience. 

What do you get when six educators from around the US and Canada get together for (almost) monthly Google Hangouts? Eduparty! Hanging out with these ladies was absolutely a joy, and I've appreciated their support and friendship for the last six months. It's just too bad Ann and Celina could't be with us. 
Joan, Krissy, me, Karen
photo courtesy of Krissy Venosdale

Meeting Peter Reynolds
Starstruck! So great to meet this wonderful author. I can't wait for Dot Day '13!
I met Peter Reynolds!
This is going to make me a rockstar in the eyes of my students.

Adam Bellow
Inspiring doesn't even begin to describe Adam Bellow's closing keynote at ISTE. Wow!

Big Plans
Having a friend from my district at ISTE has been essential the past three years. Jake and I first joined forces in Philadelphia (ISTE '11) and have been co-conspirators since. We had a blast attending sessions, exploring vendor booths, and hatching new plans for our district at this ISTE conference.

Having a buddy always helps. Can you tell we were both left a little teary from Adam Bellow?

I got my start teaching in Texas, and it sure has been fun to return for the ISTE conference. I've been remembering the difficult experiences that made me a better educator, my mentors who helped me navigate my first years in the classroom, and reflecting on the choices I've made along my path. 

Now that this busy month is coming to an end, I can finally relax and enjoy summer break guilty pleasures and get to work planning a new school year!

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