ISTE Conference … Seeing how the Sausage is made.

There is an American saying that dates back to the 20’s to describe getting a behind the scenes look at how something is created..  I got that experience this year, at least the second half of it.. and it was fascinating..

So the ISTE conference – International Society for Technology in Education – there were 18,000 attendees last year is a huge conference..  If anyone is involved with a local one day conference – then you know how much work it and now scale it up by 1000 times and try to wrap your head about it.

The ISTE conference receives thousands of proposals submitted in about a month and then reviewed in just 3 weeks.

I am fortunate to chair the Research sessions for 2019 and 2020 and so I get to work with ISTE staff and University of Oregon conference staff and a team of amazing volunteers to help plan the schedule for the conference.

So I want to share some of my overall impressions..

  1. the conference is that big and yes they get that many proposals.  If you are not accepted, it does not necessarily say anything about you, just that there are so many proposals and people that want to share their technology stories – that there is not room for everyone.
  2.   Each year there are basically a team of 6 that lead a group of other volunteers to put this whole conference on.  ISTE staff work and coach them to help them make the choices and represent the member interests and trends in our field.
  3. There are so many moving parts – BYOB sessions, research sessions, concurrent sessions, posters playgrounds..   there are so many places to be and learn – its difficult to get your head around
  4. They use technology and processes to decide the schedule.  They lay out sessions in a room but barcode them to put them in the schedule and look for conflicts. They practice what they preach.
  5. The staff is working hard and care deeply about you having a great conference experience.

As a previous attendee..I had no idea how big an undertaking this all was and how hard everyone works on it.. If you have not been to an ISTE conference then ISTE 2019 in Philly might be a good place to start.

My Everyone Can Create Example

My students are participating in an everyone can create challenge around the the themes of community, tradition, or family over Thanksgiving week.   For some a creativity challenge is overwhelming so I thought  I would make an example and share with them the kind of reflections that I expect to see from them on the process. The goal is for students to stretch themselves wherever they are.. so as a teacher, I felt that my example needed to stretch myself too.

Background on my Skill Level
So here is a little background on me and my skills. I teach a technology integration class.  I regularly teach video editing using clips, iMovie and Adobe Spark  and Green Screen Using Doink.   Last week my class used HP Reveal after seeing in a local  ConnectEd school where they made a word wall . So that was my first use of HP Reveal and I showed students how to make a poster. (see earlier post)    But another thing I like to do is make things with the laser cutter at the Innovation Hub at OU.   So I started to wonder, could  I use HP reveal with a wooden object as a target? And could those objects be scaled (different sizes) and still work with the app?

Community
For the Community aspect, I am fortunate to work in the same department as Gary Davis who teaches ASL and Deaf Culture in the College of Education. He has been here for almost a year. I unfortunately do not sign, but we communicate regularly and leave a lot of notes! !  However, I wanted to make him something for the holidays as a member of our faculty community.   I knew one of my students Shane Zumwalt was taking sign language at the same time as my class.

My Project
So for my creativity project, could I create a sign to give to Gary to wish him a happy holiday and welcome him for the first holiday season in our community using the skills I already had?

How did I approach the project: I used Adobe Illustrator to make a sign that said Happy Thanksgiving and one that said Happy Holidays. I cloned it and scaled it to different sizes.  But then I realized that I don’t know how to assign a new target in HP Reveal so I decided I better make a test case too.. which I did.

 Test Case 

 Actual Case

So I ran those at the Innovation Hub and took them home.

Then I made a short video in Keynote on my  iPad to just play around to see if I could target different sizes of objects.  And then I used HP Reveal to make the largest target as my target and then I saw if the others responded. This is how it worked!

So after I did that, I was confident that I could make multiple sizes on the Laser Cutter and use the same scan in HP Reveal.

So I went about making the video for my friend and colleague Gary.

So I asked my student Shane who is taking Sign Language to come by and let me film him saying Happy Holiday and Happy Thanksgiving against the green screen. I read some things about sign language and I realized that I needed to put a solid color behind Shane because that is considered best practices.

We filmed Shane at the Green Screen saying the two phrases and then used Clips to put music and a text screen for finishing. I thought about captioning it, but decided against it because it is a gift for Gary who is Deaf and captioning would not be for him. This could be easily done in clips.

So what tools did I use Adobe Illustrator,  Laser Cutter,  Doink Green Screen, Clips, and Canva for the backgrounds.   It was a pretty epic program App Slam but I learned some new things about Deaf Culture and some new things about how I could HP Reveal. I also used Vecteezy which is creative commons licensed. and if you notice my signs have attribution on them to vecteezy as per their standard license. I used Keynote to make a sample video and iMovie to show my finished product.

Classroom Use
So how could I use this in my classroom. This is pretty easy, because I was making it as an example for my students for the Creativity challenge. I wanted them to see that even though I have quite a bit of technology skill, I can combine it new ways to stretch myself.  I will do something like this in the future – and  may consider hiding notes in some of the things I make at the Innovation hub.  I am also tempted to take one of my OklaEd Pins and use it as a target and create a video about teachers at the capital.. They are all over the state now and it would be cool for people to be able to scan it and learn about the walkout.  (that might be a holiday break project)

The nice thing about this project, is that I should (not tested) be able to send the Adobe Illustrator files to friends and they could print it themselves and use it as well. It makes a whole a new crazy idea that I could make a puzzle or math manipulatives with embedded directions.

ISTE Standards
If I were going to talk about the ISTE standards that this project shows, I might go to the Educator Standards.  I think that this shows that I am learner because I am learning how to use HP Reveal as part of this project. I am a collaborator because I collaborated with Shane to make the videos.  I am also a leader in that I wanted to do this for equity to create something special to make my coworker feel welcome around the holidays.  Equity is much about how we choose to design things.  I think overall this project shows Designer for me as an educator. I designed this open ended activity to get students to stretch.

What challenges did I face in this project?  HP Reveal can be a bit buggy.. I have found that sometimes I have to close the app and restart because I will not read my targets. I get really nervous when they don’t work, and I need to chill out on that..  Its a known issue with HP Reveal.  (It also helps to reset wifi in my building – I sometimes think I hang on a router on floor 1 and need to reconnect on other floors)

Also making the videos to show the project was hard. I ended up having to hook my iPad up to Quicktime in order to show how it worked.. The screen recording could not capture the HP Reveal well enough.I then used IMovie on Mac to Edit out.

Revisions
In the future, I would probably create them with places to put a ribbon to hang on a tree.  I might think of making them a keychain so I could carry them with me.   I am glad that I put the directions on the item – I did not need to worry about giving out directions. But in the future, I think maybe I would burn that to the back of the object for aesthetics.

Also I will talk to Gary to see how I should do it better next time from a Deaf Culture Perspective.  I hope that I will collaborate with him and his students in the future on some other projects.

 

OU Create Challenge – Thanksgiving 2018

So I decided to quit fighting on Thanksgiving Week.  Absenteeism is high and students are not invested.. (and half of our classes do not meet and half do)   So we decided to go virtual this year with an everyone can create challenge.   They are challenged to do something around the big theme of community, family or tradition.

Student projects are due at midnight on the Sunday after thanksgiving.. so I am interested to see what they create. For several, the open ended ness of this project is crippling to them.   For others, they are on it.. I made an example, that I will share in my next post..

Please follow the hashtags they have to make to see how they do.. Student directions are below.

********* These are the details given to students ***

Everyone Can Create Challenge:

All projects must also be posted to social media (Twitter,  Instagram) with the hashtag #EveryoneCanCreate and tags @OUEducation  #3043

Due by November 25th at 11:59 for ALL CLASSES.

Worth 20 pts

You must create a creative technology project and share it out via social media tagging: #EveryoneCanCreate #OUEducation and #3043 and your teacher either @DrTerriC or @CKalinski

You can share out on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook.

You will use one of the technologies that you learned about in class, to create something around one or more of these themes of

  • Family
  • Community
  • Tradition

The thing you create should tell a story, and should be appropriate to share in your future classroom.  (Ie. not a personal gift to someone but instead a larger teaching moment that shows one of these themes and your ability to create something).  

This project is worth up to 20 pts.

Points

All tags included: 3 pts

Using 2 or more apps to create your project:  +2 points

Including a child in production or creation of your project = +2 points

 

Completing a survey for class on Nov 12, 13, or 14th with  your idea for critique = 2pts

Completing a story board or a sketch by November 12th with your idea and handed in on Canvas.=2

Completing a reflection handed in on canvas by 11:59 Sunday night 25th (all classes) = 10

In 2 or 3 pages

Explain how the project you made shows your creativity and how creativity can be used by you as a teacher in the classroom and by your students.

Explain how in this project, you stretched yourself and your ability to create something.  (This is a very important criteria – DO NOT CHECK IT IN!)

Explain the process by which you decided on your project.

Explain the process by which you approached your project.

Explain the problems and challenges you faced and how you addressed them.

Explain any thing you were surprised to learn or new skills you learned through the process.

Explain if you did a similar project in your future classroom how it would be the same or different.

Explain what ISTE standards for Educators this project demonstrates for you as a future teacher.

Include a link and screen shot of how you shared it on social media on part of this report.

Include any information about how you made sure to use allowable images in your project.

This reflection hands in on Canvas.

 

Project itself is worth 5 pts

This project should should reflect positively on you and your future teacher self.  It should have clear audio (no background noise) and show forethought and planning.

 

The minimum length of a video project 90 seconds.

 

Note, if you do not complete a project and share it out on social media of some sort, you will receive a zero on all parts of it.

Can’t plan everything… and that is awesome..

So two weeks ago my students were fortunate to attend the Connect ED showcase at Arthur Elementary. Connect ED is a program from Apple that provided 1 to 1 iPads and awesome professional development to some of the most economically challenged schools in the country. We are lucky enough to have one of those schools in Oklahoma City Arthur Elementary.

So 11 of my students attended Arthur’s showcase for extra credit 2 weeks ago and they were wowed by the tech that the kids were using .. they were especially impressed by the Brandi Criminger’s 2nd Grade Word Wall made with HP Reveal. Students wrote their words on the wall, and then they embedded an a video of them all saying the word and using it in sentence. Our students loved it..

I played with HP Reveal when it was Aurasma (former name) but had not really done anything big with it.. and our students could not stop talking about what they saw.. So what we did.. is we made HP Reveal Posters about the ISTE standards for educators and students (two different classes)

We broke the class into groups of 2 or 3 each had a standard and had to put in their own words and talk about how it would look in class.

Then 3 students who were artistic created the signs. Then using HP Reveal we overlayed the videos over each target word so that someone visiting the poster could scan it to learn more.

This worked out to be a great class assessment on their understanding of the ISTE standards and a great lesson in collaboration.  It also helped them to see how easy it would be use to augmented reality in their own classrooms.

I was especially in love with the idea that some used Adobe Spark Video, others used Clips, others used iMovie.. so it drove home the idea – create whatever you want to get the job done.    Each class we did this in got better.. we learned about using better whitespace, about making the selections tighter.. all of this produced better results.

It was a good lesson in seeing the teacher learn with them.(using a new technology) and also how its okay to not be perfect on the first run.

 

 

 

The Power of Gratitude

I just want to share some thing that I learned in the last few weeks that I will use again in the future.

As a professor doing reviews is a necessary evil.   Peer review is what drives our world, in journals, in conferences, and in our promotion and tenure.

I have been in charge of reviews several times in my careers as Chair of SIG IT with AERA, as CITE Science Education Section Editor, and now as ISTE Research Chair.  And well it is always drudgery, asking (begging) for volunteers, knowing many will not do them, and having to figure stuff out in a scramble at the end..

When I started this ISTE process, I kind of dreaded the review process. When I found out that the previous reviewers did not carry over, and I had approx 150 papers and no reviewers, I panicked,  and my dread increased.. but I tried a different approach and I was impressed and surprised by the graciousness of the ISTE review community and others in my Professional network.

So when I saw I had almost no preset reviewers, I started with the traditional begging.  but still I only one one review per paper. (not enough). Then I reached out to my PLN and got some more reviewers.  A considerable challenge is that other divisions were giving 30 reviews to each reviewer so I tried to stay at 5.. (but I did have to go up a few).

Also ISTE has a 2 step approval process, you have to apply and then be invited – which also was a problem.

However, in my panic, I started using email and I used to thank our reviewers to great success.   First, I thanked everyone who did step 1 and asked them to complete step 2.. and then I did that a few times.  I also sent out a thank you to those that agreed but had not completed step 1 and was honest about their frustration.

Then each week during the review process, I sent a thank you and an update to all reviewers.  I have never done that before and I got so many personal emails from people that they appreciated it. (and a few emails from friends saying- are you ok – that is pretty informal). I had nothing to lose and a job to do so I tried to be funny and myself. A little sarcastic and more than a little honest.  People responded to it in a big way..

What did I get – Amazing reviews and new members of my PLN.   I also had people email to ask me questions and make their reviews even better. I also got to include some doctoral students in the review process. They were able to build their resume, did a great job, and also will likely be good reviewers next year!

I was worried that people would be mad at me for emailing them weekly, I know I am like .. I know the deadline, back off!  but I did not get that.. Instead I got to celebrate with reviewers and recognize them publicly via twitter. (which was incredibly fun for those that did!)

twitter post

I also left this weekend expecting to do a 100 reviews, I am doing 2!

So what did I learn?

Many others feel the same way about doing reviews that I do.. It is a necessary evil but everyone wants a good program and for their own papers as well.  In addition, they want a good process and want to make it better. If you open the line of communications, they want to contribute.  Also, I have amazing friends and students and networks, and they came through for me.. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

So what should I learn from this and do different moving forward? 

Gratitude is missing from a lot of our processes. As professors are being asked to do more administratia, do they often get thanked? probably not..   I need to thank people more in every day life.   It may encourage those reluctant to service to serve more.   There was a recently an article or a meme on social media – that instead of saying sorry say thank you.. I.e. instead of Sorry that I am late, … thank you for waiting.. could we practice it more..

So my question, how can I incorporate gratitude more in my academic drudgeries and day to day life?  and how can you?  

 

Special shout to the ISTE Staff especially Ari Brazfield who offered and sent out emails on my behalf so I did not have to keep data mining emails like I did at the beginning..  She was also super encouraging when she saw my results.

ISTE 2019 Research Reviewers Rocked!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you thank you. .