Monday, March 20th, 2017...3:27 pm

PA Educational Technology Expo and Conference – Feb 13 and 14, 2017

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I was fortunate the attend the PETE and C conference in Hershey, PA on Feb 13 and 14, 2017.  Below is my report, or alternatively, here is a link to my report in google docs:  Conference Report Google Doc


#pete2017 Twitterfeed


PDE Opening Remarks

A PDE representative made some opening remarks.  The remarks centered around PDE’s newly created four tenets of learning which the state is further supporting with a recent $500,000 state grant program.   The four tenets are:

  • Learning is Personal:  Personalized learning recognizes that students engage in different ways and in different places.  Students benefit from individually paced, targeted learning tasks that formatively assess existing skills and knowledge and that address the student’s needs and interests.
  • Learning is Competency-Based: Students move ahead when they have demonstrated mastery of content, not when they’ve reached a certain birthday or undergone the required hours in a classroom.
  • Learning Happens Anytime, Anywhere: Learning takes place beyond the traditional school day and even the school year. The school’s walls are permeable—learning is not restricted to the classroom.
  • Students Take Ownership Over Their Learning: Student-centered learning engages students in their own success and incorporates their interests and skills into the learning process. Students support one another’s progress and celebrate success.

These four tenets align with and mirror current discussions and initiatives at South Western.  We are on the right track and leaders in the state are moving in same direction.

Here is a link with more information about the grant program that was discussed:

PDE hopes to share updates and insights into personalized learning next year at PETE and C based on what is learned during the implementation of these grants.  


Carl Hooker – Mobile Learning Mindset

The world has become mobile, but how have schools taken to this change? Have they embraced it or run away from it? In this talk, hear from the author of the book Mobile Learning Mindset on ways to meaningfully implement mobile learning in a variety of ways to engage learners. We’ll look at what skills students will truly need to be successful in their future life beyond K-12. It’s not about the device, it’s about the learning.

Fill in the minds, not fill in the bubbles.

Brain break

  1. 1-2-3
  2.  Clap 2-3
  3. Clap stomp 3
  4.  Clap – stomp – snap
  5.  Draw a circle with one hand and square with the other hand

Learners don’t take risks if teachers don’t take risks. Teachers don’t take risks unless administrators take risks.

The smartest person in the room is the room.  The smartest person in the world is the world.


Dr. Mark Edwards – Unstoppable Momentum

Dr. Mark Edwards will share with PA colleagues some of the key lessons learned from his work in Mooresville, NC and Henrico, VA as one of the Pioneers in Digital Innovation in US. Education. He will draw from his new book Unstoppable Momentum that he is co-authoring with Michael Fullan. Creating a culture that turbo charges systemic synergy for innovation and leads to pedagogical transformation are at the heart of this session.

Digital Conversion requires updating not just network infrastructure but also human infrastructure.

Maybe it’s time to add a 5th C? Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and COMPASSION

Supporting a Digital conversion -updating the  human infrastructure:

  • Aligned Leaders
  • Gracious Dispositions
  • Daily Leadership
  • Driving Hard – with a soft touch.
  • Collaborative Expertise
  • Directional Nurturance

Cultural Foundation of Change Leadership

This is important.  We are entering an even more competitive time. Public education will have to show a return on the public dollar investment.

Classroom “hum” versus classroom “noise”

Session Notes

PBL Throwdown

Project-Based Learning provides opportunities for teachers to engage students in a deeper and more individual way. PBL is not just about the delivery of content, but encouraging students to control their learning. Discover what PBL is & how it can work with your students. Discuss various theories & see examples of PBL from various classes.

Student driven rubrics to help with accountability

What if questions to present their information

Reflection process/peer reflections

Challenge Based Learning – What do you do with an Idea? (book)

“How do you move your world forward?

PBL Planning Form

What are they going to get out of their project?


  • PSA – 90 seconds to 2 minutes
  • Check-ins
  • Documentary or Publish


Not let the test drive you.

Project Based Learning does seem to be a good next step for us at SW.  The Buck Institute (BIE) is a place that keeps coming up over and over as the leading source of information on this topic.  The student handouts on BIE’s website are helpful!


Blended PD Session

Shelly Chmil
Instructional Technology Coach
Warwick School District

Session Materials:

I was not able to attend this session, but saved the link.    Things I liked in course materials:

  • Blended the required face-to-face sessions with online, “just press play” modules to provide teachers with flexible, hands-on, and self paced learning opportunities.

  • Needed:  LMS or other form of content delivery, “Experts” and time to create modules, Create tutorials (videos, slideshows, etc), Curate additional resources, Facilitators or Session Leaders

  • Now building models in LMS.  Each module focuses on a single tool and includes four parts:
    • Introduction – A brief overview of the benefits and uses of the tool.
    • Tutorials – Directions on how to use the tool.
    • Resources & Examples – Samples of how other educators are using the tool and access to additional training materials.
    • Practice & Submit – Demonstrate what was learned.

Ignite Sessions

This session was a series of quick mini presentations by various speakers.

Be Brave – Dianne Krause

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and remember the magic happens outside your comfort zone

Touchcast- Zee Poe

Free interactive video app, greenscreen and TelePrompTer.  Wittmer’s already using this!

Culture of STEM – Ben Smith

  1. Be Vague on assignment details so learners have freedom to do more
  2. Layer 1- User Created Content – share to a collaborative space and rely on each other to get answers, and allow them to work independently when they need to. Then Layer 2 – he then “copyrights” work done by learners
  3. When is done, done?  Can they redo it?  YES!  Esp when they want it to be better.

Culture + Adapted Space= Culture-  Jared Mader

Let go of tech.  It’s not tech that makes change, it’s the decisions you make.  Think about classroom differently→ active, authentic learning.  Design thinking – Stanford Design school.  Spaces needed:  Mentor spaces, Queit spaces to think, collaborate (loud) spaces, ideate – throw out possible ideas with nothing wrong, and quickly prototype.  Messing and non linear, that’s what makes it messy and authentic.  

Empowering Learners

  1. Assigned video, talked about it next day.  
  2. Asynchronous lesson 
  3. Voice and choice
  4. Involve students in the process
  5. Share!
  6. Next step:  let students lead


The Frustration of Learning

  • Before the “Ah Ha”, they are very frustrated.    <loved that thought!
  • Try new things, make mistakes, work it out


Google SAMarRi

Tim Smith, Red Lion    Director of Instructional tech

Session Materials:

Modification Level:

  • youcanbookme
  • Feedly
  • One tab
  • FormMule→ mailmerge
  • AutoCrat


Redefinition level:

  • Google classroom
  • EdPuzzle
  • TodaysMeet
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Kiazena
  • Google Hangouts


Using google hangouts for public speaking course.  Speaker goes to another room and joins hangout to present speech.  ½ passive audience and use google form to rate speech.  ½ are partisans in google hangout and interact with speaker.  Really loved this idea! 

Model its use so they can envision its use their classroom.


Virtual Reality – Things learned from Vendor Floor

Virtual reality is quickly advancing.  I was disappointedk to see that most VR content is being driven by gaming market, so lots of fantasy and

Dedicated VR

High end VR experiences that are high def images, what you see is live video with things moving around you, and the headsets have dedicated display screens built inside. Image is very high resolution and covers your peripheral vision, so its totally immersive. Headsets are balanced since they don’t have a heavy phone strapped to front of them. This also makes them lighter and more comfortable and better fitting. Content usually costs money.

HTC Vive – top end VR that let’s you walk around! ($1000 + high end PC) most advanced VR that is best at letting you interact with VR environment.

Oculus Rift – also high end, but built more for standing in one place, this is what I used ($800 + high end pc) seems to have most educational titles available. Very high end VR experience, but passive.

PlayStation VR – cheaper ($300 + playstation game system) seems to be very game centric since its coming from a game platform.


Mobile VR options

Basic VR which uses a cell phone which is inserted inside headset. These are basic level VR, but much cheaper. Often just 360 degree still images like in Google Street View. There are various apps you can download to access VR content. Most of content is free. Screen resolution is just ok since it based on your phone and image does not cover your peripheral vision, so it feels much more like you are looking through something like a pair of binoculars.

Samsung VR – $100 Best mobile VR unit, only works with Samsung smartphones.

ViewMaster viewer – $20 or so at Walmart + just about any mobile phone that supports apps. Educational content “experiences” from ViewMaster can be bought separately fro about $10 for each title. Can also use this headset with most other VR apps, such as ones made for Google Cardboard!

Google Cardboard – $15 or so + just about any mobile phone that supports apps. You build the headset. Lots of apps are available with VR content.

Google Daydream – $85 + a select android phone required


Google Expeditions – bring VR lessons to life in classroom! (free app download and class set of google cardboard or Daydream VR viewers


Blazing a Trail Toward Self-Directed Learning

Session materials:

On the path but have not arrived

“Engaging students means getting kids excited about our content, interests, and curricula. Empowering students means giving kids the knowledge and skills to pursue their passions, interests, and future.”

Students keep track of their site words via seesaw and teachers can record.

Humans of New York – Got so involved that he started to write about thier stories as well. Senior did the same thing with classmates in their school.

“…as teachers, we play a critical role. To use an analogy, if I dropped a group of students off in the wilderness to survive on their own, they would probably search for food and water, look for shelter, and so on, but how much better would they perform if an experienced wilderness guide taught them how to look for edible roots, fish, hunt, and build sustainable shelter? Likewise, teaching students how to leverage technology for learning lets them own their learning.”

~ Gayle Allen, The New Pillars of Modern Teaching

When looking at the assessments, they are thinking about the students. Students are cheering with these assessments. Authentic experiences

Scott Kinney’s 5 Step Plan

Student Access to different project broken up by grade levels   (Student Examples)

Game of Phones

Dr. Beegly

Kids are into games, modern games are complicated, use these to engage and motivate students to meet our curriculum objectives.    Take advantage of the games kids are playing.




Angry Birds

Clash of Clans

  • Design a village
  • Math / Strategy in designing it
  • Language Arts – write persuasive essay on
  • Discuss history connections – people, classes, economics
  • Look at math involved in the game:  Spreadsheet
  • Clash Royal is new version of this game.


Tips & Tricks for Technology Coaches

Session materials:

Lots of stuff here.  I liked how they created/issued badges by having folks submit learning artifacts.  Simple…they just used a google form.  I will continue to revisit an pull ideas from here.



Session materials:

This was a helpful site with information on Hyperdocs.

With one shortened link, students can access a lesson that contains instructions, links, tasks, and many clever ways to get kids thinking. Focusing on creating opportunities for choice, exploration, and ways for kids to apply their knowledge is key to creating a truly innovative HyperDoc.

A multimedia text set is a collection of lessons, various texts, and resources based around a topic or theme. It can be an amazing tool to build background knowledge, shift pedagogy to exploration of content rather than lecture, or even a tool to flip lessons. HyperDoc lessons can be a part of a Multimedia Text set- one of the options to choose from in a table.

I think these have lots of implications for building courses in itslearning!

Things to do!

  • Add Lucidpress to google! Replaces publisher

  • Pizza boxes, trifold boards, boxes – Paint them green for puppet shows (I have one) Green glove and green straws!

  • Adblock Plus – Kills any ads using Google


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