Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had an excellent summer! My vacation was full of amazing learning adventures, and I cannot wait to share all the new information, tools, and project ideas with everyone!

At ISTE17!

I started off the summer at ISTE17 – the International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Antonio at the end of June. It is impossible to do justice to this experience! It was like technology teacher Mardi Gras/ Christmas/ the State Fair and everyone’s birthday all at the same time. Every device, program, or platform you have ever heard of (and a large number of marvelous products I had never heard of) were all on display. There were four solid days of workshops, breakout sessions, keynote addresses, technology playgrounds, and product demonstrations. There were actually more days, but by the end I was glad hadn’t done more as my mind was so overwhelmed I thought it might be permanently melted!

Maker Hero Colleen Graves!
Block-based programming progenitor Mitch Resnick!
Learning Through Projects and Play!
It is very difficult to select highlights from an experience that was non-stop amazing, but I did get to meet one of my Maker Heroes, Colleen Graves – her books gave me the confidence to launch our Piney Point MakerSpace!  It was really fantastic to meet Willa and Karen of the Scratch Ed Team at Harvard face-to-face. The students were so proud to see their work in the profile Willa wrote on our use of Scratch in the STEM lab (If you missed it, read it HERE). Another thrill was attending a workshops with Mitch Resnick from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group in the MIT Media Lab with projects from the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium. I also had a mini-reunion with some of my Raspberry Picademy class while presenting some student projects at the Raspberry Pi Jam.

However, the celebrity I met that will most impress our Panthers was Moby from BrainPOP! I attended the BrainPOP Educators workshop and completed the requirements to become a BrainPOP Certified Educator. Not only do I have a lovely new shirt, but also a fantastic set of new BrainPOP tools and activities that will make students love BrainPOP even more!
My personal friend, Moby!

If you cannot tell, I am very excited about 2017-18 in the STEM Lab! Fasten your seatbelts, students! It is going to be a wild and wonderful ride!