Resources and Lessons Learned at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference
I had the pleasure of attending the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in New Orleans a couple weeks ago. My presentation was Blended-Learning Strategies to Extend the Learning Day. It was a great experience on many levels. Sacred Heart made a great contribution to help defray the cost of the trip which made me feel valued by the university. They have always taken good care of me, but it was great of them to do that for me.
I have never been to New Orleans before so it was also a great travel experience. There was a wedding procession going down the street so I guess you could say I went to a wedding while I was there, and I ate dinner overlooking the Mighty Mississippi.
I also got to attend some great workshops by experts from around the country which was why I attended in the first place. Overall, the conference was a great professional development opportunity.
I learned a lot of strategies and found some pretty good sources during those couple days. The interesting thing to me, though, was that I think I learned more in between the workshops in my conversations with my peers at the conference.
Lesson: Professional growth can come from anywhere.
Here are five resources I walked away with. The first two are actual presentations I attended while the last two are resources people showed to me in collaborative discussions:
Leveraging Digital Tools for Formative Assessment: This discussion gave some great resources along with solid suggestions for best practices when using them. This workshop was run by Trish Harvey, Bill Lindquist, and Karen Moroz of Hamline University.
Student Engagement and Meaningful Learning in the Blended Classroom: Laura Terry and Maria Zafonte of Grand Canyon University focused on blended learning classrooms for their presentation. However they provided a lot of solid resources and tips for technology enriched classrooms also.
Google Earth Outreach: This is a Google run site that provides ideas for using Google Earth across different disciplines. Many people think of Google Earth as an educational resource limited to geography classes in terms of relevance. However, the overlay feature makes it relevant to several disciplines.
Digital Public Library of America: This is a great resource for its wealth of knowledge. It provides access to some great resources like historical exhibits and explorations. The interesting thing about this resource is that many app developers use the database to draw from and provide information for their informational apps. There is a list of these apps on the site also.
Gapminder: I was shown this resource by someone I ate lunch with during the break. It came up again yesterday in a professional development workshop I attended at the high school where I work. I get the sense that Gapminder does even more than I realize, but the part that I find useful is that it is great for filtering and analyzing data. For instance, students can manipulate country data including population, gdp, and life expectancy. They can then add variables or filter out factors. An historical analysis can also be analyzed by reviewing changes in these data sets over the last hundred years or more. I think this a great resource for students to get answers to questions or, better yet, generate questions. This is a big one in regards to 21st century skills.
Always be on the look out for things to help you in your craft. I hope you find something useful. Do any of the things I mentioned remind you of a resource that you found useful? Mention it in the comments below.