Finding Enthusiasm for Teaching in an Online World
Without the face-to-face connection between people, it can be difficult to teach effectively. Feeding off the audience and sensing cues from the student’s faces and voices don’t exist in a virtual classroom or a discussion thread. Or do they? In this session, educators will learn strategies for managing their workload as an online moderator, coaxing the best out of their students, and balancing rigor with engagement for student and teacher alike, all in the name of finding a happier place as an educator in this ever-changing online world.
Who Should Attend: Teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, instructional leaders, and anyone who teaches online classes and is in need of a motivational boost.
Student Engagement in a 21st Century World
Teachers who educate students online face challenges that no brick and mortar teacher could anticipate. Student engagement can be challenging. Building community can be challenging. Differentiation for the wide variety of students takes a wide variety of teaching strategies. Educators will learn how to design and develop engaging, multimodal online lessons, and will find out how to motivate students to be their own advocates in an online environment. In this session, educators will learn strategies for becoming online moderators who are able to coax the best out of their students. Educators will also learn tips for balancing rigor with engagement for students and teachers alike, so that everyone can find a happier place in this ever-changing online world.
Who Should Attend: Teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, instructional leaders, and anyone who teaches in a virtual environment and is interested in learning effective ways to engage students through online instruction.
Building Community in an Online Classroom
We all know that students who are comfortable in their learning environment and with their learning community of peers are more likely to achieve. However, building community in a traditional classroom is hard enough, but what about in a virtual one? There are targeted ways to lure students to read, jump in, view, participate, and eventually own their own learning online in a way that builds a rich and functioning classroom environment. The session will cover the following topics: building a virtual classroom constitution, frontloading community in a traditional classroom, bringing in multi-modalities in a text-heavy online world, understanding the categories of online learners, moderating discussion groups, teaching the norms of commenting on a blog, and gaming dynamics in building a community.
Who Should Attend: Teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, instructional leaders, and anyone who uses online instruction and is interested in learning practical strategies for building community with their students.
Free Tech Tools That Increase Productivity
Technology can, and should, make our lives easier. Learn how you can organize all of your Internet resources in one place with iGoogle; learn how to access your information from anywhere with Dropbox; change forever the way you think about paper forms with Google Docs; and put an end to forgetting with ReQall. You will also learn how to establish and maintain a good filing system on your computer; how to backup your data easily; and how to communicate your message effectively through a blog.
Who Should Attend: Principals, administrators, and other leaders who are searching for free tools to help them organize, manage, and communicate information.
The (Almost) Paperless School Leader
What if all of your information was available from anywhere and easily searchable? What if it was organized in a way that you actually knew what you had? What if you could drastically reduce the paper in your life? Learn not only that it can be done, but exactly how to do it: by constructing a digital filing system that allows you to find anything quickly; using iGoogle as your “digital dashboard” and accessing it from anywhere in the world; using dual monitors as a way to dramatically reduce your printing; using Dropbox for instant backup and a way to work on projects from anywhere; handling forms digitally; setting up Outlook to be the tool that drives your day; learning alternatives if you cannot use Outlook; keeping your Smartphone in sync with your Outlook (or other alternatives); putting repeating tasks on “autopilot”; getting your e-mail to “empty” every day; using reQall or Vlingo to turn voice notes into text you receive in your e-mail; communicating effectively through a blog; conducting paperless classroom walkthroughs; and streamlining the paper that remains in your life.
Who Should Attend: Principals, administrators, and other leaders who are interested in practical ways to increase productivity and decrease stress.
The (Almost) Paperless Teacher
This seminar retains all applicable elements of The (Almost) Paperless School Leader while adding concepts unique to the teacher. Teachers will learn how to store lesson plans for an entire year on one spreadsheet with the “Digital Lesson Planner”; how to create a management system that allows students to submit work digitally; how to use tools that automatically grade student work; how to allow parents to schedule appointments electronically; and how to streamline the paper that remains in your life. Teachers will also identify the areas where paper is still the best alternative.
Who Should Attend: Teachers (K-12) who are interested in practical ways to increase productivity and decrease stress.
Your Own Blog in 10 Minutes or Less
The blog can be the centerpiece of the social media experience. Go from being a consumer of digital media to a producer. Examine examples of existing blogs, learn how to create your own blog in 10 minutes or less, and learn how to keep it going.
Who Should Attend: Principals, teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, and anyone who is interested in starting their own blog.
Social Media: All the Eggs in One Basket
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, websites…what do you need? Learn how the various components of social media work together to let your message be heard. The session will cover how to choose your “brand”; why the blog is the center of your social media presence; how to automate your blog postings so you can carry on with your life; how to use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to “feed” your blog; why you should use HootSuite or TweetDeck to organize your Twitter and Facebook experiences; and how to stay in touch during events.
Who Should Attend: Principals, teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, and anyone who is interested in learning how to use social media to communicate effectively.
Why Your PowerPoints Are Awful (And What to Do About It)
Screens full of text and bullet points are boring. Learn a different approach that is more fun to create and much more interesting for the audience. In this session, you will learn the following concepts: how to compose an effective handout; why bullet points are not the best idea; how to use pictures to tell your story and where to get them; how to choose and match colors; what to consider when choosing fonts; and what to do if you can’t be there to give the presentation.
Who Should Attend: Principals, teachers (K-12, higher education), administrators, and anyone who is interested in learning how to craft a presentation that more effectively sends your message.
Create Project-Based, Technology-Integrated Lessons
Bring your lesson objectives and available technology together to create an interactive, project-based lesson. This workshop will offer practical ideas as to enhance your lessons with technology. The strategies from this workshop can be customized for specific subject areas or grade levels as well as specific hardware or software.
Who Should Attend: Teachers (K-12), administrators, instructional leaders, and anyone who is interested in learning how to create technology-focused lessons that build 21st Century skills.