Last May I received an email from my district’s director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment regarding an educational technology conference being hosted by the Champaign Unit 4 school district. Unit 4 was seeking presenters for their conference. I decided to take a risk and offer to present on Kahoot! in the classroom. My presentation proposal was accepted, which is why I was up at 6 am on a Saturday a week and a half before school starts.
I had seven teachers attend my session, including a college professor and three school librarians! I was initially a little worried about presenting to teachers outside my district (the first time I’ve ever done that), but I had a great group and, I hope, they found that the time spent with me was worthwhile. After my session, I was able to go to other sessions.
The first session I attended was on using Padlet, a free online bulletin board program. I got to play around with it a little and am thinking about ways I can use it with my students, with parents, with coworkers, and for my own personal use.
The second session was a focus on promoting digital citizenship. I was pleased to learn that Common Sense Media’s curriculum was highly recommended, as that is the program I started using with my class last year. The presenter also shared advice on being very clear with expectations for students and families.
My last session of the day was learning about Gamestar Mechanic, which is a free program that helps students learn about computer coding. I don’t know if I will use it with my entire class, but I will definitely have this as an enrichment option for students who are interested in trying it out.
After lunch, we had time to work with others at the conference to explore further, play around, and network with one another. I enjoy conferences that have the work time built into them, especially when there is so much being shared in such a short period of time! As I continue to integrate technology into my classroom, I love being able to talk with fellow techy teachers to share ideas and learn what’s working and what’s not!