My day at the ETC!2019 20th Annual Conference!

This past Saturday the @scoe team bringing us the ETC!2019 20th Annual Conference did NOT disappoint! In true ETC! style, everything about this annual conference was amazing. What they offer for the price of $80 is truly incredible. They have an amazing line up of well-known presenters who are at the top of their game and making a difference for kids… presenters like Corey Coble, Roland Aichele, Ed Campos, and Ryan O’Donnell and SO many more who came for the day to share their edtech expertise.

I began my day with Ed Campos, @edcampOSjr, learning all about Bootstrap: Coding Videogames with Algebra. What a trip! Talk about increasing engagement. This was the second time attending Ed’s session and it won’t be the last. It will take more to completely grasp this, but that’s ok! With Wipebooks taped to the wall, we began to learn how to break down and better understand algebra using Circles of Evaluation. Such a great visual for those of us who do not naturally grasp math concepts. 

My next stop was my own. I was scheduled to share Leveraging G Suite with Leaders. This is my passion project. I am on a mission to share with leaders the simplicity AND power G Suite offers. It is not often you will see educational leaders utilizing G Suite. G Suite holds promise for leaders in so many capacities. Time is precious for leaders and teachers alike. Mastering G Suite streamlines processes and saves time. Google Classroom offers the perfect management solution and yet so often those types of resolutions come with the purchase of high dollar software programs that get under utilized even after they have been purchased. Like no time before, our schools are struggling with maintaining and building a positive culture. The collaborative strength of G Suite allows for leaders to connect and build the culture of their schools. G Suite is free for ALL in education, most schools are already G Suite domains and what better way for a leader to be a model than to use what their teachers are using! Though I had a low number of participants in this session, they were energetic and enthusiastic about the promise of G Suite for them. Two IT Directors in the group stayed after and shared notes about how they would set up their Classrooms and utilize the attached calendars. I get so excited when I hear those types of conversations. They give me a sense of renewal and hope.

Lunch was next and hit the spot. Also offered during lunch were a variety of MakerSpace activities which is always fun. Just after lunch I was on again with my Blended Learning Blast Off session. With the world having shifted, we must prepare our youth for their future differently than the way we were taught. The Blended Learning Blast Off explores six 21st century tools that will provide a variety of ways to create engaging and interactive lessons for students. Even though this session was immediately after lunch, this group was energetic!. It was a full house and they were ready to learn. 

Last but not least, I chose to attend I want my students to podcast, HELP! delivered by Roland Aichele, @EdTechMinded. I have been attending and learning from as many podcasting sessions as I can lately. The Listening and speaking standards are often one of the lowest scoring areas for students. They are also the topic of many staff meetings, including our own, discussing ways to improve that score. What better way to practice listening and speaking skills than speaking into a mic and listening back to what was just spoken. It is powerful and a tool that is available for EVERY subject. Podcasting is exciting and even the quietest of students love having the ability to share their voice. Giving them this opportunity is a great way to build not just fluency, but also many of the soft skills so necessary to be successful in our world today. 

So many sessions that I wanted to attend, but there are only so many hours in the day. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the booming speakers as they announced the end-of-the-day raffle winners! (another favorite part of ETC!!!) Fortunately, I do have many of the presenters in my Twitter PLN and will continue to learn from them there. The good news is, ETC! will return again and give me yet another opportunity to catch those that I was unable to attend! If you have not had the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend you mark your calendar and NOT miss this amazing edtech conference next year!