Monday, December 10, 2012

EdCamp NJ 2012

I am apart of a fantastic group of innovative and impressive educators in New Jersey that organized EdcampNJ. I arrived late due to a previous engagement but this was still a great un-conference. This event was based on the unconference model such as Edcamp - Philly, Edcamp - Harrisburg and Tabcamp -NJ, where the participants/attendees of the conference created the conference. These workshops are more conversational rather than a presentation because many workshop attendees participate within the presentation of the topic.  There were teachers, techies, librarians, administrators, aspiring administrators, musicians, etc, present to get or provide professional development on topics that were of interest to the participants. It was great to see Principal El from Delware. We attended a workshop about involving our parents and community in social networking. The discussions included how to get teachers to use social media in the classroom, the need for administrators to model using social media within the educational community and the importance of using services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. during times of emergency. Everyone had a great time. There were many prizes including an iPad mini device. It was an honor to be involved with such an awesome set of educators. The EdCampNJ website can be found at EdCampNJ.   Join us next year at Linwood Middle School, North Brunswick, NJ on November 23rd, 2013. See you there!

NJASL 2012 Conference

        I presented at the annual New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) in Long Branch, NJ on Saturday December 1st along with Michael Ettore, Principal of Asher Holmes Elementary School and Kimberly Alexander Supervisor-Instructional Technology, Media and ESL. Our topic was Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) explaining what it is, why many districts are adopting this mode of integrating technology in the learning process, what are some of the issues that is associated with BYOD and the process Sayreville Public Schools took in developing it's own BYOD program. Michael and Kimberly presented 2 great projects that their students created in Animoto using their own personal devices they brough to school. Questions in audience included district responsibilities for these devices, discipline issues in the classroom, the instructional process in the classroom, filtering of websites and being CIPA compliant, etc. My presentation can be found on SlideShare.

     After the presentation, I attended a presentation done by Barbara DeSantis and Katie Llera, teachers from the Sayreville School District. They explained how students used iPads to create movie trailers for books they had read in the library. They additional spoke about creating QR Codes for these trailers and other websites to link the books to additional resouces. One project they mentioned was how they created QR Codes for teacher websites of the Middle School. These codes were then placed on the doors of the classrooms so that during parent conferences parents could scan the codes and it would link them to the teacher websites so that the parents could see the teacher's websites. There was lot of energy by both presenters and participants.
This is always a great conference to attend.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PETE and C Conference 2012 in Hershey, Pennyslyvania

At the PETE and C conference in Hershey, Gary Stager was one of the keynote speakers on February 13, 2012.  The Best Educational Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning. There are places where the desires, talent and competence of children are nurtured, celebrated and respected. His presentation took you on an expedition to some of the world’s best educational ideas. Each stop on the tour, different schools he visited, shared inspiration from learning contexts built upon young people’s remarkable capacity for intensity. These ideas were to provide a foundation for meeting the needs of each child, technology integration, increased teacher quality and the fuel for sustaining innovation. While viewed in isolation, these ideas might inspire incremental solutions to specific problems. Combined, they represented educational transformation. His presentation focused mainly on student-centered learning and the need to "raise the bar" and challenge students to control their own learning process.

I went to the Heshey Hotel to hear Bill Dolton speak about Leveraging Leadership: The Admin Responsibility. He spoke about school administrators having a crucial leadership role to promote effective technology use in the classroom. That when administrators show teachers technology are valued, engage in meaningful conversation about technology, and model its use, teachers will respond. His session featured tools to provide leadership and a discussion forum followed to share strategies on how it could be done in our schools.

While at the Hershey Hotel, I also attended a session by Scott Garrigon on How Technology Leaedrs can Keep their Edge. The session covered how can educational technology leaders to stay up-to-date in our fast changing field? Leadership positions takes us out of our comfort zone, demanding deeper expertise with the latest issues. Scott shared the dozen best sources of news, videos, talks, and analysis to stay on top of trends and innovations in education and in technology.

I the presented on Banning or Embracing mobile device? On February 14, 2012 in the Empire D room located in the Hershey Lodge. This presentation will be about using mobile devices in your school or district. Some topics that will discussed include consumerization of IT, Responsible Use/Acceptable Use Policies, disruptive and inappropriate use of mobile devices, digital content, student ownership of mobile devices over the past year, number of devices sold by Apple, Droid devices, tablets, etc.

Presentation can found on slideshare and on this website.

Friday, January 27, 2012

NJASA Techspo 2012

Presented and attended the 2012 NJASA Techspo in Atlantic City, NJ the past couple days. Great conference!

Thursday's keynote was Ian Jukes and he presented on the Understanding the Digital Generation. In his presentation, Ian mentioned about the effects of digital bombardment and the implications this holds for the future of education. Today we have a new kind of student. Due to this bombardment, the today's students brain is wired differently. Naturally, our brains designed for visual content, therefore visual learners. Students today are more inclined to process images than texts. Scanning technologies have found that the digital generation reads in a F-pattern versus previous generation reads in a Z curve. They are wired for multimedia content. Nothing is wrong with the present generation, they are just different. Just as previous generations complained about their own children. Ian compared digital learners versus the educator how they received information, parallel and multitasking, digital learners prefer processing pictures, sounds, color, and video before text while many educators prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds and video. Jukes' presentation can be found at 21st century fluency website. Thought provoking and invigorating presentation!

Presented with Ed Aguiles, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, on A Practical Approach to Leadership Through the Use of Available Technology. Presentation can be found in Prezi at

 Attended presentation Bullying and Social Networking: Legal Challenge for Students, Staff and Boards of Education in the Age of Cyberspace. The attorneys presentation focused on cyberbullying that takes place off campus. NJDOE includes anyone being bullied and harassed. Not only student to student but also teacher to student or student to teacher. Many questions were raised and the discussion included different court decisions regarding student freedom of speech and what school district's can do to discipline students. New information for me.

Friday's keynote was done by Jhone Ebert from Clark County School District, Nevada. She presented on how she provides technical services for students in the 5th largest school district in the nation. She mentioned that 21st century learning as part of a greater learning community that includes online learning and 24/7 access to resources and the need to harness technology to advance a new model of schooling. Looking at the movie the "Wizard of Oz", we all grew up in Kansas but now we are living in Oz. We are need to ask the right questions regarding schooling of today and the need to embrace a new ways of thinking. Ebert mentioned the need to have a reverse mentor. She talked about having a student to have a conversation on what they see as a need for their school or how they would like to see their school. She showed a presentation done by a student that believed in an iSchool. Great presentation.

Saw Web 2.0 Tools for Administrators by Sammantha Morra. Her presentation can be found at Morra talked about twitter, quizlet, social bookmarking using delicious, and the need to tag. Other resources can be found Really enjoyed this presentation! I learned about many new tools.

Attended a late presentation by Woodcliff Lakes on globalization of educational services. Collaboration was done in social studies between Woodcliff Lakes students and students in China. Great project and presentation.