This is the last of the installments of FETC 2016. This will be the last summary of sessions and a few quick take-aways. As I mentioned in my previous posts, this might have been one of the best conferences I've attended. The sessions were informative, thought provoking, and full of real-life experiences. It was also nice to be attending the conference with 3 others from my district, which provided all of us the ability to process what we had heard.
My first session of the last day was Schools That Work for Kids, with Eric Sheninger (@e_sheninger). He shared about the process he went through to change his school into a school students wanted to attend. He wanted his school to work for the students, because most schools work for the teachers and ignore what the students want or need. He talked about what changes needed to occur and that those ideas came from having conversations with the students. It was important to make it "their school." He created awesome learning spaces and allowed the students to design them. He shares his presentation with everyone here - bit.ly/Schools4Kids . You need to answer a few questions, but then you have some great resources. He mentioned that you really need to work the hard to inspire the ones that don't want to change.
I also attended another of Eric's sessions later in the day, Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times. He shared how technology is changing the educational landscape and that we need to adapt and anticipate those changes. He stressed the need to embrace social media to tell your story. You also need to create a brand to represent your school and make sure your messages always support the brand. Focus on improving public relations and continue learning like never before. His experiences are well documented and he was sure to point out that there were failures along the way. It wasn't easy, but the benefits were great. Here are some resources that he shared - bit.ly/DigiLeadICLE15.
One of the most fun sessions I attended was facilitated by Leslie Fisher (@lesliefisher). She had a great time sharing cool apps and websites with the teachers in attendance. Teachers from the audience were invited to come up and share some cool application. Some of them were:
iBrainstorm App for iPad
Kiddle.co a search engine for kids
Sign Easy App for iPad
Permission Click for collecting permissions
YT Full Fill - a Chrome extension for viewing YouTube
There were a few more fun ones, but I am going to save those to use with my friends. Maybe a future post will give them away.
If you ever get the chance to attend FETC, do it. What a chance to learn and connect with some outstanding educators and leaders. Mark your calendars for 2017 - Jan. 24-27.