On Friday, I was one of the authors signing books at the ITEM (Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota) conference. What a fantastic day! I loved principal Brad Gustafson’s (@gustafsonbrad) keynote, where he talked about (in a really engaging, enthusiastic way) how technology is not replacing teachers–it’s making them more necessary than ever!
I learned about some cool Google Docs Add-ons from Andi Bodeau–maybe I’ll have the courage to further explore Google Docs. I know I only use it in its most rudimentary form so far!
And I am newly excited about Google Hangouts, thanks to Andy Leiser (@misterleiser), who is doing absolutely incredible things with his colleagues and students and students around the world via Hangouts. I’ve done a couple of Hangouts with schools as virtual author visits, and I’ve found them clunky. But it’s been probably two years since I did those. I have stuck with Skype since then. However, I’m totally jazzed about trying Hangouts again. And I even have some thoughts about collaborating with a classroom or offering poetry readings/discussions with classrooms able to listen live and ask questions, etc. I’ve got my thinking cap on!
And at lunch, Fernbrook Elementary’s (where my daughters went!) media specialist Kim Haugo led a Q&A with all of us children’s authors (including my tablemate Lynn Jonell, Mike Wohnoutka, Lisa Simons, Terri DeGezelle, Marion Dane Bauer, and so many other wonderful authors!). It was fun to learn a bit about people’s superpowers, funny school visit stories, etc.
And throughout the day, I signed books and met/reconnected with loads of lovely educators. It was a well-organized day of information and inspiration. So glad I took part!