"...I think you had the most helpful and memorable presentation. My colleagues and I continue to tell others about it now that we are home and starting school."

Walnut Creek, CA

Presenting at ISTE

Last week I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to present at ISTE with my partner-in-crime Carrie Wuensch-Harden! The two of us worked really hard preparing this session, and were so excited to share our ideas with attendees from all over!  Our session, 5 Big Apps + 5 Little Apps = 10 Amazing Classroom Tools, focused on what we refer to as Big Apps and Little Apps—Big apps being apps that are transformative for larger scale projects, and Little Apps being great for fast activities in the classroom. Of course there are apps that go back and forth, but we find ourselves using apps in this way…certain apps are best for small and fast in class activities, and others are great for multi-day larger scale projects.  Here’s how it all worked. First, as participants came in, we handed out headphones (donated by the fabulous Jim Noonan of Computer Supply People in Wisconsin) to the first 50 attendees. Attendees sat down at tables, chatted and jammed out to some pre-session music. Each attendee also received a bookmark listing the 5 Big Apps and 5 Little Apps.  After introducing ourselves, Carrie and I shared two videos, introducing the idea of big apps and little apps, and a quick (like 30 second!) overview of each of the apps that were a part of our session. Think of it like a little commercial for what they could learn in the session. After each video we asked them to rank their interest in each app (giving them a “to-do list” for our session). We then shared with participants that we had set up stations all around the room with iPads that had the videos ready to watch, as well as examples of ways the apps could be used. The tables also had “Challenge Cards” set out to give people ideas, or, if they had used the app before, ways that they could take it a little further. There was everything from a full blown green screen station, with a large and small green screen and props, to a stop motion station, augmented reality, and more!  We set everyone free to explore and that’s when the magic happened. There were so many people exploring the apps and we were able to truly help people understand the apps by working with them one-on-one in groups around the room. Carrie and I were both constantly inundated with “how to” and “could we” questions from eager teachers excited to see how these apps could transform their classrooms. There was a lot of laughter, and energetic excitement filled the room. Toward the end of the session, we had participants fill out a “menti” sharing what they took away from the session, and then we gave every participant a green file folder to use as a mini-green screen. On the back of the folder Carrie put a sticker with a link to the website for them to refer back to (rockstar! Love her!).  Overall the session was amazing, and I was truly grateful to Carrie for not only encouraging me that we should apply for ISTE, but for being a total rockstar at organizing or proposal and helping keep us on track throughout the school year in preparing this session.