#TIA16

The best learning comes when you least expect it, right?

I signed up for the Lone Star Technology in Action conference after hearing some of my colleagues talk about it. My home school district puts on the conference, so it was free for me, and I think my expectations were clouded by that price tag. How cool could it be if it was free?

Answer: insanely cool.

I spent two days learning so many different things that I thought at times my head might burst. I set up a SeeSaw account, learned about ways to use technology to differentiate writing, became a GoNoodle and a green screen expert, brushed up my digital citizenship skills, and attended some amazing keynotes.

And, Y’ALL. Those keynotes!

As I was sitting in the gym of my former high school listening to George Couros speak, two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) this guy is from Western Canada (my generally useless ability to identify Canadian accents is a direct benefit of a semester spent studying in The Netherlands with a load of Canucks) and 2) this guy just made my journalism degree seem like the PERFECT supplement for my education degree.

Couros talked about how we have to use technology to innovate, and as I was listening to him, I kept thinking to myself, “Yes! Absolutely! This is what I learned at OU!!” It was so refreshing to hear an expert think who isn’t talking about those darned kids and their darned technology but instead embraced technology as a way to complement education.

I enjoyed the keynote so much that I headed to his workshop session the next day. In the session, he talked about using blogs as portfolios – but not just for students’ growth. In fact, Couros specifically recommended that teachers create their own portfolio and maintain it for at least a year before they ask students to do the same.

I was a little excited about the whole situation:

Truth be told, I’m still excited! In the coming year, I’ll take on greater leadership roles at my school, start my student teaching semester, and look for classroom positions. This online space will be the perfect place to both document my future learning and reflect on what’s already come.

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