Walled Lake Consolidated Schools hosted its 8th annual Spice it Up! Technology Conference on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at Sarah Banks Middle School. It was the best yet! 325-350 teachers and administrators attended this voluntary professional development event to help them learn new ways to incorporate technology into their instructional practices. I coordinate the event and it is one of the highlights of my year!
John Sowash was the keynote speaker and he was outstanding! I thought that he connected with the audience and was inspirational; his message was a fantastic start to the day. He spoke about the importance of setting high expectations, including projects where students create and publish to a world-wide audience, and the critical need to teach tech/info literacy skills. His stories and visuals drove his points home.
We used Edmodo as a platform for presenters to share resources and for attendees to ask questions and post ideas. Hopefully the conversation will continue after the conference! 116 people visited the site, so roughly a third of our attendees used Edmodo during the conference. Edmodo was new to most of the attendees, so using it for the conference introduced the tool to them, which was great – my guess is that many will now use it with their colleagues and students.
The conference came just a few weeks after all the teachers in the district received a new iPad and laptop. We are so fortunate! I wish we had scheduled more beginner iPad sessions. Of course there are plans to offer a variety of training & support in the next month or so!
The conference would not be possible without the Walled Lake presenters, who volunteered their time to plan and share their experiences with their colleagues. They were fantastic! Thank you JP Arens, Jon Bison, Jennifer Bond, Laura Brown, Kim Chumney, Lynn Dunn, Cindy Goris, Dennis Graham, Barbie Green, John Gregg, Krista Harmsworth, Mark Hess, Kelly Holubeck-Gotts, Deb Jess, Laura King, Caron LaBlanc, Jennifer LaCross, Mark Lada, Kim Loszewski, Scott MacIsaac, Michele McKendry, Randy Micallef, Kathren O’Brien, Ryan Ossenmacher, Rob Osterman, Barb Ozminkowski, Brad Paddock, Davida Pesick, Jennifer Phillips, Kelly Reuter, Theresa Robinson, Cheryl Roden, Gina Sartor, Jessica Schultz, Jennifer Shamberger, Pam Shoemaker, David Stanton, Amy Stasak, Renee Valentine, Katie Weingarden, and Jane Wendyker.
The administrators at Sarah Banks Middle School, Brad Paddock & David Stanton, were so helpful and accommodating in the days leading up to and on the day of the conference, and the IT Department was there in full force to assist attendees as needed. There are so many others to thank; it was a prize effort by many, and is truly an event that positively impacts the learning that occurs in classrooms across the district.