ISTE 2013

It’s post-conference now, and I’m trying to to absorb all I learned. There’s almost too much to take in! I really came at it with (at least) three different hats on – librarian, technology integrationist, and TAG teacher. Here are some initial takeaways and what I’ll do about them:



Writing – I want to know more about McGonigal’s programming at the NYPL, where young people crowd sourced writing.

Ebooks – I’m more confused than ever about choices for ebooks! I spoke to Barnes and Noble and thought the Nook seemed like a real possibility, especially because they really help libraries with management. Then the news came out this morning that Barnes and Noble is shuttering Nook operations, just sticking with its black-and-white e-reader. That was what I was looking at yesterday, but gosh, this news doesn’t give me much faith in going that direction. I spoke to a couple of other vendors, including Follett Shelf (where we already house over 120 books for MNW students), but am still going over the options.


f_lavins. From Flickr, Creative Commons License. Found here.

Teaching technologyThis was picked up from following #iste13 tweet.




Makerspace! I saw Gary Stager’s name in the ISTE book and knew I had to go hear him. I follow him on Twitter and loves his message of authentic learning. This was no different – it was so fast-paced it was hard to keep up. But my favorite part of it was his message of makerspaces. I actually have joined the Ames Makerspace and am going to an event on Saturday. I loved Stagerś message that the ¨maker movement is that craft traditions are being honored and kicked up a notch.” The funny thing is I love the idea of makerspaces, but I don´t actually make that much. I guess I´ll learn!

Tech Integration

Gamification – I’m still mulling all this, and I’ll finish reading Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken. Wouldn’t Massive Multi-Thumb Wrestling be huge fun as an ice breaker in PD?

Claymation – Won’t this be so much fun? I’d love to do a collaborative unit at the elementary with the art, music, and guidance teachers using this tech. Remember, don’t use green Play-Doh with a green screen!


Storyboard That! – Found this on the vendor floor and know the guidance counselor will love it to have the students make writing prompts.


Professional Development

I had a great talk with Atomic Learning – they are updating the student and teacher tech assessments which needed it. But this was a reminder of all the fantastic resources they have here for tech teaching. I want to make a web page or site that has tools for teachers.

Cyber-Patriots: This is an organizations that schools bring in as an afterschool activity that give real-world skills (hacking, or as they call it, cyber security) to high school students.



One other thing that Atomic Learning has is a series of videos about programming. I’m adding programming to choices/requirements for junior high TAG students (still to be determined) and am looking for resources. Like look at this, for XML basics.


MOOCs! I’m already a big fan of MOOCs, being a perennial drop-out (but I am finishing this class this summer). This session really wasn’t for me, since I already know what they are and how they work. But of course, I always love knowing everyone else is learning about something I already am passionate about. I did check out the offerings from Udacity, EdX, and Coursera. I signed up for this course from EdX, starting this fall. (Plenty of time to drop out . . . ) I do think every teacher should take a MOOC, and am going to include that as an option for the TAG students this fall.



I’m so glad I had business cards printed up! I’m glad my husband and daughter could come and do a family vacation with me, though I wish my other kids could have been here, too. Because they were here and doing touristy-stuff, they needed my iPhone. And I forgot my camera! So no pictures. That stinks. But I was so glad I brought a Chromebook. It made tweeting so much easier than doing finger-typing on my phone or a tablet.

Okay, that just has to be enough! There is so much else I learned. What a great experience.

Goodbye, San Antonio!

#itec12 wrap-up

Cross-posted on the Iowa Teacher Librarians Ning.

#itec2012 was held this week and what a fantastic experience it was!  It began for me on Monday, October 15, with so many good choices of conference sessions to choose from, it was a difficult decision.  Sessions were plentiful and varied, with options for teachers at all grade levels, technology coaches, technology directors, and administrators.  Sessions ran the gamut, from things for the most novice to very advanced, and for both the PC and Apple crowd.  

The sessions I attended:

  • Andrew Fenstermaker, “Tech Toolbox, K-2.”  Right away I learned something – I loved how he shared resources he uses in his classroom, with a mindmapping tool called Pearltrees.  I’m going to use this to keep track of options in different curricular areas and building levels.  Here’s his Pearltree – isn’t that cool?!

  • TL Karen Lampe, “Bringing history to life with primary source documents.”  I was already familiar with the Library of Congress resources – although she taught me some tricks there – but really taught me about the resources from the National Archives and how those can be used in classes.  Thanks, Karen!  (Here are her resources.)

  • Stacy Behmer, “Using Chrome in the Classroom.”  This was perfect for me as MNW has implemented 1:1 Chromebooks at the 4-6 grade level.  (Her resources are available here.)

  • Aaron Cook, “Recording better video for educators.”  This was extremely timely for me, and he was flexible enough to change his presentation to address the things the audience needed to know.  He had a pretty intimidating set-up – TV station looking cameras, professional lighting, etc., and yet, I went away more confident in my ability to do video with students.  (Here are his resources.
  • Roundtable discussion for technology coaches and integrationists.  The slated presenter was unable to come, so her friend and fellow tech coach stepped in.  This was a great experience to get ideas, ask questions, and network with people who do the same things we do.  That’s what conferences are for!  (Are you going to #iasl13?  You should!)
Round table – get it?


  • Layne Henn, “Free your students from the bondage of school boredom!”  A fun way to start a new day at the conference,  He gave us the mantra, “Technology is good, but people are better.”  Technology is just a tool, but it’s a tool that we can use to engage students and to build relationships with them.
  • Leigh Zeitz, “Readings, watchings, listenings, and doings:  Making learning meaningful for your Millenial students.”  He stated there are 5 Rs to engage the students born from 1984-2001:  Research-based methods, relevance, rationale, relaxed, and rapport.  Are you doing this in your library?  (His resources can be found on his blog here.)
  • Denise Krefting, Lynn McCertney, “Changing teaching with TPCK and Bloom’s.”  More than other session, I wasn’t sure what I was going to learn here.  The ladies did a nice job of making us work, delving into the Iowa Core and doing some backwards design.  

There were two amazing keynote speakers: 
  • Marco Torres, a social studies teacher from California who spoke about how technology can help empower students in their own learning, even in impoverished areas like his own.  He asked questions that really make me think, like, “What does YOUR evidence of love of learning look like? Is it love of learning or love of schooling? “  He took the old paradigm of learning (sorry, didn’t get that in my notes) and turned it own its head:  love of work + curiousity + access + multimedia (multipled by your PLN) = success.  Do I create remarkable moments for my students?  I’m going to work more on that.  

  • David Pogue, technology writer for the New York Times.  He showed us examples of “disruptive tech” – like the retina app (fix your wardrobe missteps before they happen), Twitteround (tells where people are that use Twitter), and Word Lens, an amazing language translation app that I’ve already downloaded.  He was the most dynamic presenter I’ve seen in ages – at the end, he played two songs with original lyrics for us on the piano, “I Write the Code that Makes the World Go Round”  and “Don’t Cry for Me Cupertino.”  Classic!  I should see if anyone has put it on YouTube yet!

Other fun:
  • Lunch was excellent, and it was great to meet and talk with librarians from around the state.  Many were talking about Shannon Miller’s Monday presentation which sounded amazing.  One said, “They could have put her in the biggest room here and every seat would have been taken!”  Thankfully, she and many others have put their presentations on the ITEC website, available here.
  • Checking out the vendors in the exhibit hall.  There was a great variety here and it was fun to catch up with some I hadn’t seen in awhile.  I needed to charge my computer so I didn’t get much swag . . .
  • Looking at the exhibits and purple ribbon winners in the exhibit hall
  • Finding new folks to follow on Twitter
  • Catching up with old friends and making new ones
I can’t wait until next year!