I watched the ISTE Kick-Off from June 26. Our own Monica Beglau, was honored along with other inspirational educators and leaders who think and act in innovative ways and are making a difference. If you watch from 54:34 to 55:07 you will catch a glimpse of some eMINTS Leadership Staff in the crowd. The Kick-Off focused on the stories of a handful of educational technology leaders and the projects they work on and their messages of hope to everyone.
At the Opening Keynote on Sunday evening, Dr. John Medina spoke on the topic of Brain Rules for Education. He shared the physiological factors of the human brain and how it shapes student potential and how simple brain "rules" can improve learning. One of the big take-aways for me - learning must be active and that students must have information internalized (memorized) to be able to problem solve at higher levels and that great teachers can identify the gaps in students knowledge that keep them from moving forward.
I actually got to watch real time through my friend @abyford computer via Skype, Alan November presenting on building Empathy through technology. He shared a project where a class was using Skype to make learning relevant and timley by using #hashtags to study current events across the world. His session Empathy: The 21st Century Skill was very eye opening and had some unique ideas for using technology to teach 21st Century Skills. My favorite point he made: He pointed out how all districts have "preparing student for a global economy" as part of their mission statement which doesn't align with their access policies. He suggested to many administrative leaders that that change their mission statements to say we will not prepare students for a global society because will will block all opportunities to connect and learn globally. One of the last resources/things that make you go hmmmm he shared was a video from TEDTalks called Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles". It shows how Google manipulates the results users get and can create bubbles in learning. I also watched his presentation, Digital Learning Farm: Students as Contributors where he shared his ideas for engaging students in their learning experiences by making them the creators of their teaching/learning materials. Another idea that I plan to remember to share this coming year with my new eMINTS teachers is how a one-to-one program should really be about creating a network of learners and not one student learning in isolation but as part of a team.
Diana Dell was doing the same thing I was and her is a link to her Google Doc where she compiled the resources she discovered. She calls it her Recliner Resources.