Wednesday, March 7, 2018

ICE Conference 2018 Recap (Tardy to the Party!)

My blogging has been a little bit slacking as of late... I've been lucky to be pretty busy doing a bunch of other fun things that have kept me away! But, today I am procrastinating about grading stuff (it's seriously my LEAST favorite thing about teaching) so I thought I'd check in and do a little (albeit tardy to the party) recap from my 2018 ICE Conference experience this year!

I was super fortunate to get to attend all three days of the conference this year - woo hoo! It isn't easy to be out of the classroom for that long, but this conference is so packed with awesome ideas and PD opportunities that I genuinely feel like it's worth it. You can check out lots of photos from the event here.

I got to present twice this year at ICE: once as an assistant for a 1/2 day workshop on using Ozobots in the classroom, and once as a solo presenter for one of my all-time fave tech tools, WeVideo!

photo courtesy @MrLeban

Instead of one keynote speaker to kick off each day, a panel discussion was hosted, featuring a group of well-known and influential education leaders. I really liked getting to see so many teachers I look up to, sharing together in one discussion.

Of course, I went to some pretty amazing sessions, too! My favorite one was a presentation by Carrie Baughcum (@heckawesome) and Dana Ladenburger (@dladenburger) on Learning Mascots!

I've long been interested in sketchnoting, which Carrie is a total PRO at. I love how she turned this talent into a motivating social-emotional learning strategy for use in the classroom! I am a constant doodler, and hope to start using my own #LearningMascot in my classroom!

The vendor hall is always a great experience, and on day two I got to bring my husband along. We spent time talking with vendors and checking out new products for the classroom. The big winner for us was the Bloxels booth - they totally got me to buy a starter set at a special show discount price, which we took home and starting playing with alongside my 6-year-old son right away! It's so much fun!

I also enjoyed taking with the people behind the products we currently use here at school: PowerSchool, EverFi, Hapara, littleBits... I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch. Fingers crossed that some of the conversations we had will be brought back to the developers to make improvements in the future.

And of course I spent a chunk of time on Wednesday in the WeVideo booth, talking with teachers and answering questions about the service. I had fun with Greg, our WeVideo sales rep, challenging visitors to take and post selfies with us in exchange for green screen t-shirts!

But possibly the best thing about education conferences is getting to meet people that you know, sometimes from IRL, and sometimes only from the internet! It's so cool to meet face-to-face and talk with the ever-growing community of professional educators that love to collaborate and share. Thank you to everyone (both old friends and new!) who said hello or stopped by to talk!

- Mrs L.

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