As previously mentioned, I presented for the first time at the annual ICE conference this year. I’ve been going for a few years and getting a little less out of the sessions each year. That’s not a knock on ICE, it’s a great conference, but I’m a computer tacher and spend a lot of time in front of the machine and as a learner of technology, I move at a faster pace than the average teacher. I go mostly to see new sites and apps and inspire new ideas. So this year, as part of my effort to create more, I proposed two sessions, both of which were accepted.
On Thursday I presented Stop Consuming, Start Creating with two of my second grade co-workers. Earlier in the year, we decided to make an effort to use our newly acquire iPads as creative tools. We focused our energies on finding apps that not only allowed our students to create documents but which were easy to use and gave us an easy way to transfer the finished files to a computer without syncing. The presentation went far better than any of us expected. We had such a huge turnout (for our room which was small) that many of our attendees were sitting on the floor and another co-worker was standing in the hallway turning people away. We started early in the hope that we could finish quickly and usher in a new group but wound up going 10 minutes later than planned and finished at our scheduled time. The group seemed interested in what we had to say and I hope they take some of our lessons back to their classrooms and create some new projects of their own.
On Friday, I co-presented a project I’ve been working on with our school librarian, QR Codes: Bringing Children Beyond the Book. We’ve been putting QR codes on bookplates and taping them to the inside cover of some of our library books. Each code, when scanned on a mobile device, links to a web site that somehow extends the reading experience for that book. A student could be taken to an interview with an author or illustrator, a video of events depicted in the book, or a web site about the same subject matter. It’s been a fun project to work on and we were excited to share it with our audience, which was also large and made up mostly of librarians.
Both sessions seemed to be well received and I had a few people approach me later in the day to tell me how much then enjoyed them which is always an ego boost. I had a great time presenting this year. It dramatically changed the conference for me and I look forward to submitting more proposals next year.
If you’d like to take a look at our presentations and notes, they can be found online on the ICE Wiki. Thursday sessions can be found here and Friday sessions here. Just search for the names of the presentations and take a look at some of the other great sessions that were offered as well.