FETC 2012 Thinking About the Un-Comfort Zone

This was my first FETC. I got lucky with the weather, I got lucky with the company I got to keep, I got lucky that my presentations (1 and 2) went well (I think). But most important of all, I got lucky with what I took away from the conference.

I spent much of the conference thinking about students as leaders. I included Chris Lehman and Sylvia Martinez in one of my presentations because of how they empower the students they work with.

I listened to stories form the changes Shannon Miller has made in Van Meter, Iowa. I sat and heard Jason Markey and some other folks from East Leyden High School in Illinois speak about empowering students as leaders. I engaged in some great conversations on Twitter:

Heidi Hayes Jacobs spoke about how we are limited by what we know. Many of us tend to do things that we are used to and comfortable with. But she also said that we have to feel uncomfortable in order to grow. I think one of the great ways to get in that un-comfort zone is to put the learning in the hands of the students.

Heidi talked about the following with regards to what makes a good Web 2.0 site:

  • encourage engagement and curiosity
  • deepens examination of content
  • engenders independence
  • reflects quality in student products/performance

But I am thinking that we can apply these same requirements to how we put our students in leadership roles.

So, think about how you can push yourself to try something new. Perhaps that new thing can be a change in the role of the students in your classroom. Please let me know what you think.


2012 – The Year I went with Apple


I have never owned a Mac. I used them in college. I’ve used them in Mac districts that I work with. Bu I’ve never had one as my primary computer. Until now.

When they asked me at my new job at Kean what type of laptop I wanted, I jumped on the chance to try something new. It was time to get a Mac. I have had an iPad since they were released in early 2010. I’ve had an iPod Classic and an iPodTouch for many years. I even got the iPod Nano and watch band for the holidays this year. But, I wanted a chance to learn about the operating system and some of the software packages only available for Macs. (Perhaps I wanted some of my friends that have Macs to stop picking on me as well.)

So, my Macbook Air was delivered to me at work just about a month ago. The first thing I did was install the Chrome browser so that I would have access to all my personalized apps and extensions that I had used on my Chromebook and PCs. But since then, these are the apps that I’ve asked the office to install for me.

I’m happy I made the change as I look forward to seeing what some of these pieces of software can do, but honestly, I really only use the Chrome Browser. The rest is just gravy. (Yummy gravy.)

NY/NJ Google Apps Summit at Kean University

 

Registration has opened for the first ever NY / NJ Google Apps Summit. Kean and the School for Global Education and Innovation are proud to sponsor this event at the University’s STEM Building on March 22 and 23, 2012.

The event has three conference strands:

  1. Google Apps for Education Overview
  2. Technical Deployment
  3. Using Google Apps for Education in the Classroom

We also have planned to accomodate differing tech abilities by noting which sessions are designed for:

  1. Basics
  2. Tips and Tricks
  3. Getting Geeky

Sessions will be presented by:

  1. Google Apps Certified Trainers
  2. Google Certified Teachers
  3. Area administrators and classroom practitioners
  4. The Google Apps for Education Team

Please consider joining us for both days (3/22 8:00-4:00 and 3/23 8:00-12:00) for a cost of $200. (https://sites.google.com/site/nynjgs12/registration)

Please contact me directly at lisa dot thumann at gmail dot com if you have any additional questions, but more information on the Summit can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/nynjgs12/home.

Twitter hashtag #NYNJGS12