Learning Never Stops (for teachers, too)

Hard to believe it’s been 5 years since img_3998I attended my first ICE conference. Since then, we’ve adopted the “Learning Never Stops” mantra and become a fully integrated 1:1
school. While that’s had its lion’s share of frustrations, by now we’ve gotten to a point that devices are tools to great learning. Attending ICE always sends me home with new ideas and tools to help students learn more productively. Grateful our district funds this professional development, and even more grateful I have colleagues that enjoy ICE as much as I do. Sometimes we even see each other! Conversations with fellow educators about how we’re using technology almost always enhances the actual presentations. Here’s a summary of what I bring back to District 66:

  • We have used the QFT, but Mike Biondo had the clever suggestion of having students bring a photo in and doing small-group QFTs to create questions together.
  • Several good book suggestions by Jim Burke to help Frame Historical Thinking.
  • Joe Sanfelippo (Fall Creek School District, WI) shared a great line: “In the absence of knowledge, people create their own.” Something to think about for school leaders and teachers as we communicate with the public and parents about what we do.
  • The “Thinking Like a Historian” framework to help facilitate historical thinking.
  • The 20% plan is an excellent way to encourage independence, inquiry, and real-world application of content.
  • Mr. Hummell has very blue eyes.
  • Biondo also teased his “Murder Mystery Party” lesson, which students role play and ask questions to discover not a mystery, but who brought alcohol to a party.
  • Family trees are an incredibly effective way to build inquiry skills. Hard NOT to ask questions.
  • Structured Academic Controversies are an effective way to teach not only inquiry, but forces students to consider alternative perspectives.
  • I knew IMSA offered some great PBL training, but was unaware of the great resources available through them online.
  • Sanfelippo also spoke about schools utilizing social media to promote their schools like companies do their brands.

  • Sanfelippo authored a book, Hacking Leadership, which covers a number of his points, but ultimately beat the drum for schools celebrating successes and building trust. Celebrate value in everybody and build from there. Whether it’s press conferences for new hires, high fiving each other, and frequent giveaways, building a culture is up to school leaders at all levels. #gocrickets
  • Why doesn’t Lakeview do Senior Walks?! People would eat that up here!

  • Google Keep is now integrated into google docs and should make group communication much easier in the future!
  • Really intrigued by the SAS Writer add-on to analyze writing skills.
  • Lucidpress is a nice alternative to Publisher when using chromebooks in a 1:1 school.
  • Wolfram Alpha and Scrible might be nice alternative citations tools, seeing that Easy Bib is total garbage now.
  • I’m again reminded I don’t use hapara well enough to help students learn at their own pace. More than a classroom management tool.

Thank God I have a student teacher for the next three months so I can digest all of this.