Monday, March 23, 2015

MACUL: Presenting!

Would you believe me if I told you that I was a very shy child growing up?  I remember one summer at camp, I was in a theater class (don't know what I was thinking!) and even though I was just playing a barn animal, I was terrified to get on stage!  And in 6th or 7th grade (middle school is all a blur) we had to give a speech a month.  Except I was so terrified of public speaking, that I would be absent the day of and the day after, so I could turn in a written copy instead of actually speak!  I didn't actually give my first speech until junior year of high school, that's how terrified I was.

Which makes what I'm about to say somewhat of a shock, at least to me.

I LOVED presenting at Macul!  It was So. Much. Fun!

I think it also helps that most people at Macul are there because they want to be, and are looking to learn things they want to learn - way different, unfortunately, than most professional development provided by schools.

The first presentation for this year was right after the opening keynote.  It was about Twitter for Teachers - beginner twitter, that is!  I loved this session because like in class, there were so many lightbulbs going off throughout our hour together!  I love being able to expose people to tools that can have such drastic impact on their educational practices!

Friday morning, one of my colleagues and I opened the day with an 8:30 presentation on Tech Lab.  This is something we created this year, and as it's a work in progress, we wanted to share it with others who might be interested.  It was one of those interactive sessions, as the audience was encouraged to share their ideas, too!  

Tech Lab is basically a weekly "special" that my third graders, and her second graders, get together to learn about different technology tools.  Projects we've done include coding unplugged, Scratch Jr., App Reviews, and creating presentations on Google Slides.  It's been such an exciting journey and it was great to share with others!

At this point, we were able to get to ONE session.  Again, it was well worth it, though, spending much of my Macul time presenting and supporting my students.

My final presentation was a favorite one, as I've done it twice before in my district.  I like to call it "iPad as Teacher's BFF" and sharing how my iPad has become my right hand, and simplified life in my classroom is always fun.

Leaving Macul is always bittersweet.  I feel like I'm leaving behind an extended family that is a huge part of my world, despite the fact that I only see most of them on twitter.  On the upside, when I leave, I always leave with "new friends" in my circles than with which I came, and I always feel energized from connecting with "old friends" that I usually only "see" via twitter.

Technology may be a pretty big deal, but it was clear this year, as it is always year, that education isn't about the technology, it's about the relationships.  And Macul?  A wonderful place to build relationships!

See you in Grand Rapids in 2016!

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