Friday, January 13, 2017

Top Ten Highlights for The One Conference You SHOULD NOT Miss!

It has been said by many that The One Conference is one of their favorite events of the year.  I could not agree more! It is a day that focuses on two key points:

*Celebrating our amazing staff in SDW! 
*Professional learning that centers around best practices for integrating technology

To make the most of the day, I've put together a guide to 10+ experiences you need to have at The One Conference.

1. Schedule Your Sessions in Sched

  • You will not find a conference that offers sessions more relevant to your needs than The One Conference. These are experts from within our district. They use the same technology available to you and your students. They teach to largely the same population of students that you work with.  Explore them all, and use Sched to plan your day. View the Sched app for your iPad and navigating your day will be a breeze!

2. Listen to Inspiring Stories at The Rockstar Stage

  • The Rockstar Stage (schedule available here) is our own mini Ted-Ed conference. Our expert staff members and students will be sharing their knowledge throughout the day in short 5 -8 minute doses. Stop by throughout the conference to support your colleagues, hear great ideas, and find inspiration.

3. Experiment and Tinker with New Tools at The Hands-On Learning Area

  • Housed in the West library, you can walk in and get a hands-on experience with some of the amazing tools that students across the district will have access to.  Blair Technology Integrator Laura Busch and her team of Blair Student Scholars will be there to show you their skills. Try out robots, lego kits, a 3D Printer, virtual reality viewers, Osmos, and more. Let your inner-maker shine!

4. Ask Questions of Business Partners and Tech Support Staff

  • Each year we invite the people that create and support the products we use in our classrooms to join us at The One Conference. Here is your chance to ask questions and learn from the people that know the products best, whether in some of the sessions they offer, or by stopping by their booths throughout the day. The SDW Technology Department will also be on hand all day to offer technical support. Stop by and let them know how they can help.

5. Re-charge with Maui Wowi 

  • The Maui Wowi folks will be serving up deliciousness throughout the day. Stop by early for your coffee, and re-charge with a smoothie throughout the day.

6. Car-to-Door Service with One Conference Bus Transport

  • Parking for The One Conference is tight (any event that is this much fun suffers from the same problem).  While you are definitely encouraged to carpool, there is a better way. Park at St. John Neumann Parish, hop on the bus, and be delivered right to the front door at West. Return to your car at the end of the day with the same great service. Earn bonus points for starting a sing-a-long on the bus.

7. Practical Tips and Inspiration from Keynote Speaker Tony Vincent

  • We invited Tony Vincent as our keynote because of his focus on practical ideas for using tech in the classroom.  Tony is, first and foremost, a teacher that has utilized technology in his classroom with students. That is at the center of each presentation he delivers. You will walk away with a list of tips and tricks to try in your classroom! You can even follow-up with Tony in one of the two sessions he is offering throughout the day.

8. Win Amazing Raffle Prizes

  • Check your registration packet, find your raffle tickets, and drop them in raffle boxes scattered around The One Conference.  Then sit back and wait for your name to be called. A wide array of interesting and useful prizes gathered from schools, donors, parents, and businesses around the area.  It may be your lucky day!

9. Head Over to The One Social

  • Perhaps you will wish to continue the conversation at The One Social following the conference. This optional event is hosted at The Neighbors Bar and Grille. You will find appetizers and energy if you choose to join us as we bask in the post-conference glow of learning!

10. Set a Goal -- And Achieve It!

  • The One Conference aims to assist teachers in finding new ideas for using technology in the classroom, but the real goal is transferring the learning into practice in your classrooms. The Next Steps activity encourages teachers to set one goal (based on their learning) for integrating technology and to find a partner that will encourage and support them as they take their risk. Take the challenge to Step Outside the Box of your comfort zone and use technology to transform teaching and learning in your classroom. 

+1.  Use the Conference Hashtag - #SDWONE

  • Share your favorite lessons, ideas, inspiration, photos, and moments from The One Conference using the official hashtag on Twitter and Google+ -- #SDWONE -- before, during, and after the conference.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Have you looked at an iPad lately, a message to all stakeholders.

Kids Need Adult Guidance with Tech

Handing a student a powerful, connected device (a cell phone or iPad) requires some adult supervision, monitoring, and educating. Whether the classroom teachers, or parents and guardians, it is important to help our students navigate the world with these devices in their hands. Add to that the constant, ever-changing world of technology, it can be hard for anybody to stay in front of tech use to best help students make the right choices. Some of the suggestions below are ways that adults can actively engage students in the discussion about how they are using devices.

Spot Check Photos
Photos and videos are now a part of daily life. Young adults can be seen snapping selfies left and right, and they use the photos as a means of communicating with the outside world. Thanks to the ease of having a camera with you at all times in the form of a mobile device, taking pictures of the food we eat, the things we see, and people we interact with is commonplace. As we see in the news too commonly, the “selfie” culture is not always based on such innocent subjects. Students can be careless, even reckless, with with images and videos. Savvy parents and teachers should consider spot checking the Photos app on mobile devices.  Further, kids should KNOW you are going to be checking the app. Just the “threat” of being discovered might be enough to make students think twice before taking inappropriate photos and videos.

Talk About Apps
Mobile devices make our lives more efficient. The apps that exist intend to fulfill a need in that same way. Apps can help us study, learn, create, publish, read -- all beneficial to users. At the same time, apps provide an outlet for distraction and downtime (hello Candy Crush). Look and their devices and talk to kids about the apps that they have installed -- this is another area to check. Some apps can be distracting (such as games and risky-social media apps). Some can be harmful, such as bullying that arises from its use. Do your research on the apps that you are not familiar with. What do the apps do? Do you feel they are needed or appropriate. If not, remove them and explain to your kids the reasons why.

Dig Into Web History
The world wide web is exactly that -- the vast unknown. We have information at our fingertips at all times and cannot imagine a world much different. The phrase “Google it” can be heard daily. Web surfing can quench the inquisitive side in all of us, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Web filtering while on school grounds can prevent students from stumbling upon things that they should not. However, what happens off grounds? Are filters in place at home? How can we keep our kids safe from all that exists in the world? Occasional monitoring of web history can give you an eye into what conversations may need to be had with your student. And if you are concerned about what you find, it is the time to have the adult conversation with kids about appropriate web searching.

Listen/Watch for Student Communication Apps/Tools
A fundamental truth exists no matter when you grow up or what tools you have available to you:  We need to communicate. This is particularly true for young people forming friendships and relationships with their classmates. In our hyper-connected world, kids and young adults are always looking for the newest, most entertaining ways to share their thoughts. Whether positive or not, they use these tools to connect with peers, and possibly even complete strangers. Listen to kids. What apps do they mention? What apps are up when you look over their shoulder or pass by.  It is impossible to know every app that kids can use to communicate, but because they communicate so often, they leave clues all over for us to pick up on. Keep an eye on what forms of communication are being used, and be confident enough to check in on what they are sharing, and with whom.

Guidance on Spot Checking a Device

This video was designed to show you how to take a look into the device your student uses for school purposes. It may also be applicable to personal devices as well. In any situation, if you feel that there is something of concern, work with your school administration. In addition, there are a variety of resources to help parents and teachers navigate this world and can be found on the Waukesha One Website