|On our way to Neepawa!|
The sessions at both of these events cover everything ed tech related including tutorials on specific tech tools, trouble shooting tips, professional learning networks, specific learning activities hosted online and much more. In fact, there were over 80 sessions in total to choose from! If you'd like to see some of the awesome sessions that were offered, the schedule is available on the Byte 2013 Wiki.
ManACE Technology Information Night (TIN)
|Tyler and I During Our Presentation|
Andy McKiel titled "Killer Apps" where he shared some of his favourite iPad apps and then passed the floor onto other people to share their favourites. I shared the Remind 101 app that I used when I was student teaching which allows teachers to easily communicate with their students safely via text messaging reminders. My fiance, who is also an education student, downloaded one of the other suggestions; MyScript Calculator. It is a calculator app that allows the user to use their own handwriting as opposed to finding the correct buttons and typing in equations. It is really neat, easy to use and he loves it so far. There are also some cool sharing features as well as a feature that allows students to move step by step through equations to see how they are solved.
- Have audio clips embedded in a QR Code and attached to student work that is displayed on bulletin boards. By scanning the code, the audience can hear the student explaining their project, what they learned, what they liked about it, how they completed it, etc.
- Have bibliographies embedded in a QR Code and attached to student work that is displayed. That way the finished project like a poster, display, etc is displayed and the bibliography information is available but it is not taking up bulletin board room.
Tyler and I were the last presentation of the evening. Since we have both been blogging for over a year, we decided to share a Top 10 list of what we enjoy most about blogging and how it has helped us prepare for the education field. Here is a copy of our presentation:
- Clarence Fisher
When I first started getting information on the keynote session I was so excited to see that the keynote speaker was Clarence Fisher, who Skyped into our Internet for Educators class just two weeks ago! After hearing Clarence's thoughts in our classroom I was excited to see what his viewpoint would be for the session and I was not disappointed.
|A panoramic view of the ~400 some attendees during Clarence's keynote address|
Another exciting thing about the keynote session was that the evening before, while at ManACE TIN, Tyler was asked if he would create a "visual representation" of Clarence's talk while it was happening. Tyler is a very visual/creative person and often doodles his notes rather than using text (see an example here) and many people thought this would be an interesting addition to the presentation. So, as Clarence spoke, Tyler sketched out the aspects of his talk. Here are some pictures!
|Tyler working on his sketch (left) and Clarence on stage presenting (right)|
|A panoramic view from Tyler's point of view at the front of the gym|
|Tyler and Clarence with the finished product|
- Eva Brown, Kate Hallett, and Jennifer Kasprick
I was originally drawn to this session because I have teachables in the Social Studies area (History, Geography, Geology), I live in a very small rural community, and I thought the information would help extend learning beyond the confines of the classroom walls. The beginning of the session was a brief overview about the importance of being a connected educator and a review of tools such as Twitter, Pinterest, Diigo, etc. Kate made an excellent point when she stated, "If we, as teachers, aren't connected we won't be able to connect our students." The remainder of the session was an introduction to the Flat Classroom Project and their experience with participating in some of the activities. Prior to this session I was unaware of the Flat Classroom Project and didn't know anything about it. Here is an explanation taken from their About page:
The Flat Classroom® Projectis a global collaborative project that joins
together middle and senior high school students. This project is part of
the emerging tend in internationally-aware schools to embrace a holistic
and constructivist educational approach to work collaboratively with others
around the world in order to create students who are competitive and
There are many different projects that teachers and students can take part in, depending on age level, subject area, time commitment, etc. There is a fee involved as well as very committed participation so I am unsure if I would be comfortable jumping into this type of project right away. I would love, however, to use these type of projects as inspiration and maybe create a similar type of project on a smaller level (with another classroom or close school). Participating in the full project is definitely something I would consider once I have been in the classroom for a year or two and am sure that I would be able to manage the time commitment appropriately. Here is a video put out by the project that explains some of the benefits of students connecting and collaborating on a global level:
Connecting, Reflecting, Creating: Why We Blog
- Kirsten Landen & Tyler Letkeman
|Tyler and I at our session!|
- What is the benefit of putting information like this online?
Both Tyler and I shared our personal experiences with how blogging has
helped us develop professionally, make meaningful connections with other
educators, archive our learning/ideas/thoughts, create relevant learning
opportunities for our students and provide us with an authentic audience for
our writing We also had some conversations about how it all depended on
what kind of information people were interested in sharing (reflections,
resources, classroom activities), why they were writing (to gain
feedback, personal records, sharing with parents), and how they would use
their blog (personal use, sharing with students/parents/admin, interactive
- Could this be done with students too?
Of course! Tyler and I both agreed that we would be using blogs with our
students when we have our own classrooms one day. We shared some of the
great educators in Manitoba who are blogging with their students like Erin
Malkoske, Georgette Nairn, and Mary Bertram (who were all at BYTE)! We
also talked about some of the tools like KidBlog and Quad Blog that can be
used specifically with students for a safe and manageable environment.
Overall I feel like our sessions went over very well and the feedback that we have received so far has been positive. I'm not sure if we specifically convinced anyone to start blogging right away, but I feel like we provided a good framework so that educators are more aware of the benefits that blogging can bring. It definitely was a lot of fun to share our ideas and I am so thankful for the opportunity to present at such an amazing conference, thanks BYTE Committee!
Bits of BYTE - Celebrating Our Blogiversary
- Kirsten Landen & Tyler Letkeman
During the fourth session Tyler and I also presented in the Bits of BYTE sessions that were streamed live online. These sessions were approximately twenty minutes as opposed to a full hour session so we both decided to present our sessions from the ManACE TIN event rather than try to cut down the information in our other session. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't fully attend the final session of the day so I missed out on a PLN session by Phil Taylor, sorry! This was a really cool experience and I was a bit star stuck to see all of the amazing educators who were also part of this event!
In addition to streaming live, the sessions were also archived so they can be viewed later on. I was excited about this since I will have a record of one of my first presentations! Here is our session :)Video streaming by Ustream
Overall I had a BLAST at my first ever ManACE TIN and BYTE Conference. I am so thankful for the opportunity to present my ideas along with so many great educators from across the province! I had an amazing experience and met so many awesome people!
I'm sending out a BIG thanks to all of the presenters, organizers, and volunteers for this event, you all did an amazing job :)
|Congrats to Tyler who won the Snowball Microphone that he wanted SOOOOOO much!|