The MACUL conference (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) took place in March. This was my first year as a MACUL Board Member and it absolutely changed my MACUL conference experience for the better. It is amazing how much work by a great number of people goes into the planning of the conference. It is also amazing how well everyone did their part to make this one of our best conferences ever.
One of my favorite parts of the conference is the Student Technology Showcase. Our first and second graders came to share how they are using technology in the classroom. The second graders shared some of the many ways they share using their Kidblog, including sharing their Discovery Education Boards. When Discovery’s own Dean Shareski, one of the featured speakers stopped by, my student had his iPad on his board and shared it with Dean (without any prompting from me as I was not around at the time!)
The first graders shared how they used the iPad and the Puppet Pals App. On the 100th day of school the children all came dressed as if they were 100 years old. Their teacher took their picture and then had them write about what life at 100 might be like. They published their picture and story using the Puppet Pals App. George Couros, the keynote speaker for the following day also stopped by to see what the students were sharing. He loved the Puppet Pals stories and asked if he could use one in his Keynote the following morning!
I was able to attend many of the sessions including Keynotes from Adam Bellow, George Couros, and Rushton Hurley. I learned from our Technology Using teacher of the year, Erin Klein and so many others. One of the many great things about the MACUL and other conferences is that the learning doesn’t end with the conference. I have already been in contact via social media with some of the speakers and other attendees to continue the learning.
A new part of the conference experience for me were the Lightning Talks.The Lightning Talks were amazing! It is incredible how much is shared in such a short time and so well. Take the 5 min to listen to Trevor Muir in the talk below. It is truly amazing! After hearing Trevor Muir I was inspired and am looking to see if I have a Lightning Talk in me.