DAAAAAY Two of #TIES16. I talked about some amazing presenters in a previous post. I have more to share with you today in Part Two of my conference reflection and goal setting.
I first heard Carl Hooker speak in Aug. 2015 at iPadPalooza MN. I was asked to play a game that was well... slightly embarrassing and as a gift, Hooker gave me tickets to iPadPalooza 2016 in TEXAS! I wasn't able to make it but boy, do I wish I could have. You might not know this but Carl was the founder of iPadPalooza TX and they do everything BIG in Tx... Especially technology conferences. Seeing @MrHooker at iPadPalooza over a year ago focused my attention on what he was sharing on Twitter, and I loved it. I was very excited to see that he was going to be our keynote of TIES.
Carl Hooker had great energy and humor for during his presentation. I loved his stories, his educational problems/solutions, but most of all I loved his heart. He shared some personal stories that only a genuine person could. Hooker presented some big ideas, but my takeaway from his presentation was to be a true, real person with feelings. Share your heart and emotions and laugh. That's some great takeaways from a keynote speaker if you ask me.
Speaking of keynotes, I loved our Monday keynote speaker so much that I ended up in another session of his. To tell you the truth, I was looking at session titles and it just so happened that Dean Shareski was presenting 5 Minutes of Creativity. Well, Creativity is kind of my thing bing I'm a Visual Arts Teacher. I love when I see presenters spread messages that I so strongly believe. I like it even more, when it's a person of influence and not an 'Art Teacher' advocating for creativity. For some reason, if you have the title of Art Teacher and you are singing the great song of Creativity to others, many times the song is not heard. They think well yah, but that's BECAUSE you are an Art Teacher. If someone like Dean stands up and says, 'Creativity is important and here are some ways you can implement it into your classroom.' They listen. Whatever spreads the word, works for me. In short, this was a grab and go sort of session... He gave us plenty of STELLER ideas to implement in our classroom upon arrival (and in perfect timing before holiday break).
Buddy Berry had a session called Blue Lobster Ideas and how to grow them. I was intrigued... and so were many others. This tiny room was packed!! So much so that I was sitting on the ground behind a chair and did these little gofer-like movements to see what Berry was talking about throughout his session. Really... if you could have seen me you might have mistaken me for a game of whack-a-mole at Chucky Cheese... but I heard, and then saw bits of what made his message to us unique. Buddy explained to us the many problems AND SOLUTIONS that he has accomplished in the past several years of his career. He breathed inspiration into EVERY person in the room because even if our school has difficulties or roadblocks, it was not like the school that he has reimaged and reidentified from the ground up. He comes up with Blue Sky Ideas and makes them happen. He encourages big thinking from his teachers too. He talked about something called Medici Effect and that is when you look at other industries for improvements to your own system. And he talked about fun. I think this work FUN, joy, wonder, play... this was the over-arching theme of the TIES conference 2016. It's what I want for my students, it's what I need for my class, and most of all what I expect for my children. This session was just another nudge forward to doing great things in my professional and maybe even my personal life.
We were encourage to write our Blue Lobster idea down on a napkin at the end of the session. I was able to come up with one today, but I don't think it will be the last. This idea might seem small to some, but for me and my district, it's an idea that I have heard 'no' for many years, so I want to make this an upcoming priority.
I didn't mention one of the sessions I went to on Monday in my last post, but that's because I went to another session and wanted to cover his message in this post instead. I have been following @GustafsonBrad on social media for a while now. I respect his messages on Twitter and was excited to see how much he was presenting at TIES. I had the opportunity to meet another amazing member of what I consider to be my #PLN (professional learning network). In his first session, I attended he was sharing on Failure. Brad came around the room and introduced himself to a couple of people, making small talk. When he got to me he asked, Well... you ready to learn about failure? I was so excited to meet the man in person that I OVER enthusiastically exclaimed "YES!" I think I may have even given a hand gesture like a fist pump or something. This made enough of an impression that I was featured in his welcome to the participants of his session as being a very excited member of the audience. Well, I'm just kind of that gal... I'm the one who snorts when I'm laughing or trips when I'm making an elegant entrance into a room. Yah, I guess I'm that over excited, slightly start struck teacher who is a little too enthusiastic for professional development. I mean come on... I'm writing a reflection to share with you about some life changing PD and it's not an assignment or a district requirement. I'm just sharing because I'm so excited. What was I talking about?? Oh yah, Brad Gustafson presentations.
Where to start... one of the biggest takeaways from Brad's presentations was his willingness to celebrate and connect us to others. He shared a lot of ideas from his peers and his online #PLN. He was sure to cite them and now we have a whole new list of new people to follow on Twitter. There were ideas on ways to connect, on ways to use the tools we have, a new math game that I ended up making a new friend by playing the game with. We laughed and laughed. In between his jokes, Brad through in some tips, tricks, examples, and pedagogy that each person in the room could connect with. One of the simple 'ah-ha' moments of his presentation was when he was talking about Greenscreen and through up this image of his green screen 'studio'. It was on the honey-do list before I even got home.
At the very end of the conference, I hit a session by Tony Vincent. I had been following the #TIES16 so it was fun to tap into the knowledge of this guy because he was tweeting all the time. He had a ton of shares for taking notes on a device. As you can see from this conference, I love taking notes... and I really love taking sketch notes. I'm not opposed to how the sketch notes are taken via hand drawing or digital on a tablet, so it was great to hear all of the many ways that notes can be taken. I couldn't believe the energy and positive vibe Tony was able to give to us in the last session of the day. It was a great session to end on.
So I know what you are thinking. "You had some great experiences Nic, sure wish I could have heard those messages." Well here's your chance. Follow everyone that I mentioned in this post and in the previous post about #TIES16. They are amazing resources! Another way is to add these books onto your wish list for Christmas: Renegade Leadership, By Brad Gustafson, Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day, By Dean Shareski, and Mobile Learning Mindset, by Carl Hooker.