Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Early Mornings & PD

Boy! Is it me, or are mornings earlier in August than any other time of year?

Do you enjoy PD as much as I do?  I love learning new ideas, new technologies and anything else that I can implement in my classroom!  Today I spent the day at a technology conference.  The day was broken into four sessions.  I went to sessions called ActivInspire, iPads for the Intermediate Teacher, Digital Storytelling, and ActvInspire and Elmo. 

The first one was not good.  It was really for beginners, so I didn't get much out of it.  In fact, I started writing this post during it.  Here's what I wrote:  Just a quick post today.  I'm at a technology inservice, and usually I love these kinds of things.   So far this morning - not so much.  This first session is using ActivInspire; not much new.  But I'm hoping for good things in the next sessions.  Fingers crossed!

Fortunately the day got better!  (And the sessions weren't as long as I thought, which is why that's as far as I got when I was feeling icky about the whole day.)  Anyway...  the conference turned out to be well worth the extremely early morning drive and the rough start!

My favorite session was Digital Storytelling led by Stephanie DeMichele, M.A.  She is the technology teacher at St. John of the Cross School in Euclid.  And let me tell you people - this woman is amazing.  This session could have gone on all day long, and I wouldn't complained.  Her passion for digital storytelling came through in a big way.  She has so many great ideas and resources to share.  The best part was that she had practical ways to incorporate Digital Storytelling into real lesson plans with examples from 1st grade up to middle school.  And she was very clear that these technologies don't eliminate the need to teach the writing process or the content areas; it's just a way to enhance and motivate the students to do it better!  By giving them an audience of more than just one (the teacher), students are motivated to impress their peers, their families, etc.

Stephanie shared a webpage she made for just this conference that is chock full of resources.  She included some great technology blogs (Just what I need, more blogs to follow! Who can resist, though?),  sites to get free pictures, music and sound effects, and tutorials.  She has also included practical pages for creating storyboards, links to great sites for both Mac or PC, and even rubrics.  Click here to check out this amazing site!

All in all a very successful day!  I love Professional Development that gets me fired up and excited!  I'm off now to explore and try to create my own digital story to share with my students and their parents.


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