Friday, January 26, 2018

The One Conference: Making it meaningful!

Our team, the Instructional Technology Coordinators, sincerely hope that you enjoyed your day at The One Conference 2018. We hope you felt celebrated and valued as educators. We hope that it was a fun day filled with inspiration and excitement. Those are primary goals for us when we begin planning with the committee, and we aim to make that a focal point of the day.

Inspiration, new ideas, and a rap performance by teachers
 Becca Wypiszynski and Kim Ferguson were elements that
made The One Conference a special event!
Of course, the real goal of the day is to inspire our staff to find ways to more meaningfully use technology to make learning more engaging, accessible, authentic, and meaningful for students. We hope you were inspired by ideas that allow you to make learning more rigorous, more creative, and more collaborative. 

That's our second goal of the day: to provide inspirational yet practical ideas that you can take back to your classroom and use with students.

As great as the day is, it is this second goal that is most important. All of the fun and learning, all of the inspiration and sharing does not amount to much if what educators learn on the day never filters down to use with students.

That is our challenge to all of you. Make all of the energy and learning that happens at The One Conference meaningful. Put something you have learned into practice with your students.

There are many ways to do that. We suggested one way with our Make a Splash! activity. The goal was to find a friend, a risk partner, that would hold you personally accountable for following through with your plans. It is not about somebody else telling you what to do and when to do it. It is about your internal motivation to identify a shift that can happen, to take a risk, and to make a change for the benefit of your students.

So we encourage each of you to do your part to make The One Conference meaningful by viewing the day as the beginning of the journey to shift just one instructional practice with students. Your students rely on you to provide them with these kinds of learning opportunities!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Learn like a pirate at The One Conference #sdwone

As we set sail into this year's One Conference theme of pirates, it strikes me that we can apply one pirate-like trait to our day to make the conference more meaningful.

Pirates steal valuable things. That's what makes them pirates, after all. They take the best things, which do not belong to them, and they make them their own.

If I could give you one piece of advice to make the conference more meaningful for you and your students, learn like a pirate. Steal the best and leave the rest.

There are gems of wisdom, inspiration, and best practice that can be found all around The One Conference. They are the best ideas of your colleagues, things that work for them and their students, and they are simply putting these treasured nuggets out there for you to find and take with you.  Your job is to find the very best treasures, steal them, and turn them into your own.

We all know that a day at The One Conference can be overwhelming and exhausting. Do not let yourself be burdened with every idea, every tool, every practice you hear about. Set a goal of finding one or two ideas that  you can take back to your classroom, back to your students, to start using technology to teach and to help students engage and learn more meaningfully.

And once you have found those one or two great ideas to steal, set aside some time during the day to start planning.  Most pirates may get lucky some of the time, but the best pirates plan, plot and scheme. Follow their lead. Develop a plan to turn your jewel of an idea into a practice used in your classroom. The goal should be to make one new practice a valued addition to your arsenal of tools and ideas to positively transform the learning experience for students.

So go ahead. Act like a pirate at The One Conference. You have our permission to steal some amazing ideas and turn them into amazing opportunities for kids. #sdwone

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

One Conference 2018 - Guide to New Format for Morning Keynote and Building Meetings

The One Conference 2018 has a new format for how we will start our day. With the new location of the keynote (in the auditorium) and including morning kick-off meetings with buildings, we want to make sure all staff have a clear idea of where to go to get their day started on the right foot.

Take a few minutes to watch the video to get a clear explanation of the the information you will need to know about the changes to the schedule and format to start the morning of The One Conference 2018.

All information on The One Conference will be available at The One Conference website.

Room assignments for morning building kick-off meetings is available on the conference SCHED.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Using Sched to Plan Your Day at The One Conference

With SCHED you have the ability to build your learning plan in advance. Check the circle at the top left corner of a session or Add to My Schedule to make it part of your plan for the day. While we are not capping attendance based on this selection, if a session has a great deal of interest we may be able to move it to a larger room. You are still free to make your final selections the day of the conference.

Not sure how to use Sched? This video will give you tips to selecting your sessions and lunch choices!

Be sure to log in to the conference site with your SDW email address. This will allow you to save your selections and pull them up again on Monday, January 22nd! If you plan to print your schedule  wait until just before the conference as room assignments have not yet been made and are subject to change.

Don't forget to indicate your lunch choice for the 11:30 session. We are trying to make sure that everyone has access to their preferred option. But we need to have a count to accomplish this. Please assist us by indicating your preference in Sched so everyone receives their selection of choice.

If the presenter has indicated that an app is necessary for participation it will be included in the tags as well. Please plan ahead and download these apps prior to attending the conference on Friday. This will help reduce the number of wireless issues you may experience.

Which sessions should I attend?

This next week is a great time to talk with your job-alikes in your building to "spread the wealth" and divide and conquer as many sessions as possible. We know it is great fun to attend with friends, but dividing up will allow you to cover more sessions and share with your teammates on Tuesday!

Every school has determined high leverage practices that they are focusing on for the 2017-18 school year. Many of these are listed in the Type section of Sched. Consider clicking the high leverage practice that your building is working on and see if there are sessions that would help you grow your practice in implementing this technology in your classroom!

We are hoping that you will see examples of ways that you can Sail the SAMR C's! with the use of technology in your classrooms. SAMR will be a focus throughout the day. Reflect on how you might use what is being presented to incorporate Critically Thinking, Collaborating, Creating, and Communicating in your environment. We are looking forward to a great day of learning and technology exploration. Just a reminder that there are a great number of ways to expand your learning on this day; stop by a vendor booth, listen in at the Rock Star Stage, browse the Poster sessions in the main hallway and of course attend sessions being presented by your SDW co-workers and business partners!

So many ways to learn at The One Conference

The One Conference 2018 is almost here. The key to making the most of the day, which operates like a true conference, is pre-planning.

Getting Started

To start, we highly recommend visiting the conference website at:

Here you will be able to peruse all of the offerings for the day. Remember, The One Conference is about more than just sessions. There are several other ways to get inspired and learn from others. The One Conference website will help you see all that is available to you.

Sessions in SCHED

One tab on the website is the Sessions tab. Click View the The One Conference - 2018 Session SCHED This will allow you to explore sessions being offered during the conference.

There are four session times offered during the course of the day. Sessions are color-coded based on the "big rock" that they reinforce. If you float your mouse over the session title you will see the description of the session, presenters, time and the grade level it applies to.

Using SCHED is one of the best ways to plan out your conference experiences.

Visit the SDW Rock Star Teacher Stage

Rock Star Teachers are educators that have been nominated for some very specific use of technology that they employ with students. These professional encompass a wide range of grade levels and subject areas, but they all have one thing in common: they have used technology well with students!  Visit the Rock Star Stage Schedule to see what topics are being presented (in 5 - 8 min presentations) throughout the morning and afternoon sessions, and find some time to step into the library and listen to our version of an SDW TED Talk. The Rock Star Stage is located in the Library Media Center.

Hands-on Learning Area 

Ready to learn from the students? Step into the Hands-on Learning area to hear perspectives from our student representatives. You will see some of the latest tools, most innovative uses of technology, and you will have opportunities to truly try these items for yourself.  Have you ever wondered what an Ozobot is? Have you met Cozmo yet? Or his Bluebot friends? Maybe you want to get hands-on with virtual reality.  Come in and give it a try in the Hands-on Learning area. The Hands-on Learning Area is located just off of the Library Media Center in the Trek classrooms.

Think Tank

New for 2018, we are introducing the Think Tank. There is a lot to take in at The One Conference. However, when sparks of inspiration strike for how you will use something you learned about with your students, it's time to dig in and put a plan together. Opening during sessions 3 and 4, the Think Tank is a place where you can start planning to bring your ideas to life. Additionally, some presenters will offer follow-up sessions where you can dig in deeper to a topic that was presented.  The Think Tank is a self-serve space available in the Cafeteria (only open during sessions 3 and 4).

Vendor and Business Partner Exhibits

A number of our business partners and vendors will have tables throughout the hallways of The One Conference. These folks want to support our staff members with the products that they represent (which we already purchase...this is NOT a sales pitch).  Step up and ask questions, engage in conversation, and ask about resources that they may have available to support you and your students in your journey to utilize the tools.

Technology Genius Bar

Our SDW Tech Staff and Help Desk folks will be available throughout the day of The One Conference to offer support, answer questions, provide expertise, and make connections. They welcome you to spend some time at the Genius Bar, located in the main entrance hallway at West. If you have had questions about technology, have a specific issue, or just need a resource, this is the perfect opportunity to stop by and connect.

Make a Splash!

Throughout the day, we hope that you will see examples of ways that you can make use of technology in your classrooms. Remember that the goals of The One Conference are to celebrate you, our educators and staff, and to spread great ideas for using technology in your classroom. The Make a Splash! activity is a way for you to identify one goal, one practice, and/or one tool that you want to take back to your classroom. You will find somebody to hold you accountable to your goal (a risk partner), and you will develop a plan to reach your goal.  This activity will be facilitated by your building leadership team!  This day is about shifting our classroom instruction for the benefit of students, and the Make a Splash! activity builds on this idea by encouraging us to set goals and achieve them.

The REAL magic of The One Conference: Authenticity

The countdown to The One Conference 2018 has started! Last minute details and finishing touches are being put into place to make this the fun, exciting, inspiring, and powerful professional learning experience that it is for Waukesha staff. I promise, this is going to be another great year that we will all enjoy.

As much fun as the day is, the real magic of the conference isn't in the raffle prizes, the balloons, the groovy music, or the vendors and refreshments.

The magic of The One Conference is in the authenticity that each of you bring to the day.

It is the willingness of our 250+ presenters who step forward to share their journey, their experience, and their expertise to each of the sessions presented. This is work that has evolved over time, that has involved the energy, commitment, and desire to provide unique learning experiences to our students. This day would not be possible without the generosity of our presenters to share what they have learned with all of us.

It is not just the presenters that make this day so authentic. It is each of you that come to these sessions and celebrate the practices and knowledge of your colleagues by listening, asking questions, and engaging. Our presenters share because they want to inspire you, their friends and colleagues to give something a try. Your willingness to show up to a session, engage with the presenters, and in turn take it back to your classroom to give it a try is what this is all about. 

When I first started teaching, it was rare for a colleague to share what they did, and it certainly was not widely encouraged to do so. The One Conference is on the complete other end of the spectrum from that experience. Our presenters openly share their best ideas and practices for utilizing technology in the classroom; our attendees willingly participate and take away the most inspiring ideas.

(For all of you who want to bring the conference
theme to life, we would love to see your very
best pirate costumes
 to celebrate the theme --
Sailing the SAMR C's of Creativity,
Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking!)
And the benefactors of all of this energy and learning are our students.

That is the key ingredient that makes The One Conference special and authentic. The teaching and learning done at The One Conference is about helping each other to make the most engaging learning environments and opportunities for our students.

As long as we all bring that mindset to the day, and then carry that mindset with us as we leave in our effort to put what we have learned into practice, the magic of The One Conference will exist.