Tuesday, June 28, 2016

PBS Leadership Summit and ISTE 2016 Takeaways

This past weekend I received an amazing opportunity!  I was chosen this year as the Lead PBS Digital Media Innovator for Colorado.  That's a lot to say.

To start off, if you have never heard of PBS Learning Media don't feel like you are out of the loop. We know that PBS is a non profit company.  The majority of us in the education world probably have fond memories of the first shows we watched being on PBS.  We grew up with PBS.  What a lot of educators may not know is that PBS supports education beyond television. PBS Learning Media has taken the great things we love about the network and has created lesson plans and downloadable videos tied to Common Core and State Standards. Definitely create a free account and start browsing and adding items to your favorites.  Some of my favorite items are What are Myths?: In Search of Myths and Heroes: I used pieces of this to start off my hero's journey unit and tied it in with Greek mythology; Mission US: American Lit. does not match my 7th grade partner's SS curriculum, but if it did I would totally use this to pull the students into the events and action; and Exploring Social Media with Hashtags: our students must learn to research in a new way instead of Encyclopedias they will need to be able to follow and analyze hashtags.

This past weekend all of the 52 Lead Innovators were invited to the PBS Leadership Summit in Denver, CO.  I was slightly bummed that I didn't get a fancy destination out of the prize, but it's only going to motivate me to be a better version of myself so that someday I do get to travel somewhere to present! So, I drove up to Denver from the Springs, and did receive a wonderful accommodation at the Denver Marriott City Center hotel in downtown Denver.  The location was incredible.  This morning I walked the four blocks to ISTE with my fellow PBS friends!

We started off our event Saturday with lunch and SWAG!

The benefits of being a Lead Innovator include the Leadership Summit, a day at ISTE 2016, a new Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a year long subscriptions to PBS LearningMedia Custom, professional development and huge networking opportunities among peers. Check out our weekend on Twitter with #PBSdigitalinnovator.  Some of my responsibilties are just like this, blogging, professional development with my school and district. My station partner, Laurie Zeller, at Rocky Mountain PBS even wants to hold a FREE PD for Colorado Springs area educators!  Dates and Agenda TBD!

We had two days of sessions where I learned so much and was completely humbled by the amount of knowledge, innovation, and brain power in the room.  Some of the PBS Lead Innovators have done these noteworthy incredible things, and I just get excited when I sell something on TPTKaci Heins is now a curriculum developer at Houston where she can regularly have lunch with astronauts. Kayla Delzer has led a TED talk and writes a phenomenal blog that mine can't compare to! Kevin Cornell is Mister C. with his own PBS show.  Steve Isaacs won the 2016 ISTE Award for Outstanding Teacher.  There were more in the PBS Digital Innovator group who were leading sessions at ISTE and had founded businesses, I was awe inspired as we went through our introductions.

Our presenters and sessions included Michael Gorman, Leslie Fisher, Shelly Fryer, Wes Fryer, Jaime Casap, Mary Jo Madda, Hadley Ferguson.  They challenged us to be a lone nut, to think about thinking, to try new things, to imagine the classroom of tomorrow, and to come together for conversations about topics we're interested in not something someone else is interested in.

On Monday I was able to spend the day at ISTE 2016!  I started out with the poster sessions, then went into the Exhibition Hall.  I went to two sessions afterwards before heading home to my family. I can't even list all of the apps that I learned about over the weekend.  I created another Symbaloo showcasing the websites and apps.  One that I am truly excited about is Aurasma.  I want to help my students use this augmented reality to bring their creations into a whole new dimension! I can't wait to work more on flipped learning aspects with Edpuzzle as well!

Albert Einstein said, "To ought not be forgotten long after you are dead and rotten, do something worth the writing, or write something worth the reading."

Other than a lot of swag that my daughter already tried to claim, my biggest takeaways from this weekend have been that I'm not done yet. I've just barely started!  In order to truly be a great teacher and inspire my students, in order to be at the level of my PBS Digital Innovator peers, I need to keep working!

As always, thank you for reading!

English Middle School Mania