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Attribution – Christine Horner

Cover - AttributionToday’s book: Attribution by Christine Horner
Published in 2017 by: in the garden Publishing
Location: Todd’s Library

So a good friend of mine recommended looking at LibraryThing – a website and an iOS app for managing my book collection (which has grown to in excess of 1,300 books!)

As part of LibraryThing I became a member of the Early Reviewers Group, which occasionally works out that I get a free book in exchange for a review. Cool, eh?

So to the book – Attribution. Attribution is a story told in the near future, a future where water has become scarce and a new company has risen from this issue to help manage water around the world – and of course the world is still not all getting along, and there are plenty of players who want all the glory and wealth. Turns out that not only do you need water, but you also need rare earth minerals to de-salinate the water to make it drinkable. Of course the majority of the story takes place in the USA, but has many references to other countries, and even the Nobel prizes.

The main character, Truby, seems to be some sort of journalist, stuck in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park. Why she is there, how she got there, and why she is the protagonist is a mystery until near the end of the book. The book goes back and forth in time telling the story of a young girl genius who helps solve the water problem, but how this young girl is connected with Truby is a grand mystery until almost the very end. (No, it is not her mother, or the grown up version of the girl)

I found the story very fascinating, and had so many unanswered questions, that I couldn’t stop reading, although if I’m honest with myself, I probably could have stopped reading and not missed the book. But I wanted to see what happened.

Ultimately it had a very unique twist, that I’ve NEVER seen in the thousands of books that I have read. Not sure if the author is trying to make a specific point, or just using a very unusual form of hiding people in a futuristic Witness Protection Program. I’m going to go with the latter. Of course as this monster twist unfolds, it creates a whole new scenario to play out and see how the characters are affected. I think this would have made a great series of books – this story line could have made it into two books at least, and been a very awesome read. However the way it was wrapped up, well, it kinda feels like it will be the only one. Maybe I will be surprised!

This story is not what it looks like, and has an ingenious plot built in, but you need to get about halfway through the book before you are hooked.

Would this book make it onto my personal bookshelf? If it was a paper book, it’s a definite maybe. However I received it as an ebook, so it’s not really taking any space, so I guess I’ll keep it.

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Immortal – Dean Crawford

Cover - ImmortalToday’s book: Immortal by Dean Crawford
Published in 2013 by Touchstone
Location: Todd’s Library

I know what you’re thinking. “Has Todd really gone this long without reading a book?” Haha! Nope, just been a long time since I posted a review, so I’m trying to get back into the habit!

Picked up Immortal from my good friends at Chapters – wonderful store!

Immortal follows two investigators / bounty hunters / ex-government operatives? as they investigate the apparent recent death, of someone who was in the civil war. Yup, a very strange start – situated in present day, there is a discovery that there might be some people who have been alive since the civil war, living among us. Of course the pharmaceutical industry is involved as they are in search of the elixer of life – that which would make immortality possible for those who can afford it. And there is the government which seems to be (as usually depicted) full of crooked people who are only interested in themselves, not the greater good.

Crawford tells an extraordinary story about a possible truth in longevity, and makes a great argument for a potential accuracy. I know, it’s vague. I haven’t read a story about “immortals” quite like this. Not science fiction, not fantasy, not a world of magic, but a seemingly plausible rationally explained theory. Wrap that around a good mystery, some intrigue, some not-so-nice folks, and voila, you have a yarn that keeps you up until you finish the book.

I really enjoyed how the plot continued to develop and change throughout the book, and he got me in the end – did not see the final twist coming. My only wish is that the book were a little longer, so I could see how this might play out. Who knows, maybe there is a second book in the series? I’ll be taking a look at Dean’s works and seeing which other titles I can get my hands on.

Did Immortal get a spot on my bookshelf? Yes it did.

Convergence Conference Keynote: Julielynn Wong

Well, can you believe it? We’re finally back to another ATLE Convergence Conference! This is actually our 12th annual conference. Wow, time is really flying! So you may see a series of blog posts from me, describing some of the happenings, and sessions at this year’s conference!

Julielynn Wong – Keynote

Disruptive Technologies:

  • 3D Printing
  • Drone Robotics

First, let’s talk about 3D Printing. Julielynn showed a picture of her 3D model selfie. Why is 3D printing so exciting? Because a physical object can be stored as a digital file. We can crowdsource, store, and develop amazing stuff. Historically if you wanted a tool at the space station, you would have to send the tool up through a rocket. But now, it can be designed in the ground, and sent electronically to be built on the space station. How cool is that?

Problem: Astronauts can’t take everything they need

Solution: Bring or uplink files to space and build the things they need.

Can now do 3D Printed Surgical Tools – for the 5 Billion People who lack surgical care – 3D4MD.com

Julielynn reminded us that her speaker fees actually go towards 3D4MD

Anybody Can Innovate

Smartphones are 3D scanners

3D design software is free

3D printers are accessible

What about the power of 3D printing in education? What if a stethoscope got lost in space? Looked up the original paper / spec for stethoscope. Took the original design, and the free software, and then printed it. Then found www.stethio.com – where a high school student designed a 3D printed smartphone case to turn a smartphone into a stethoscope.

Problem: Assistive devices are often inaccessible for 4 million Canadians with disabilities

Solution: 3D Print assistive devices to save time and money

Examples: $25 3D Printed Prosthetic Hands – made by Canadian students.

3D printed custom finger splits – costs $2 to print at public library

3D printed cup holder – designed to fit any wheelchair

$1 3D printed syringe handle – attaches to insulin needle, avoids needing a homecare nurse

Print cheaper assistive devices for seniors in assisted living facilities

Be a medical maker! medicalmakers.org

  • Learn stem skills
  • Design sustainable solutions
  • Give back to your local + global community
  • Earn academic credit
  • Get reference letters for awards, grants and jobs
  • Author research articles
  • Be inventors on patents

Problem: Replacing medical items is slow and costly in remote & insecure regions

Solution: Scan & 3D print crowd-sourced designs locally

3D printed prototype to repair suction canister

Doctors without borders catalog – maybe some things can be 3D printed?

Medical make-a-thons

  • Launching events locally & abroad
  • Solve problems & learn tech skills
  • Add 150 designs to digital catalog

3D printed tourniquet to save lives in Gaza strip

Sorry about the short, brief notes. Julielynn and her team is doing some amazing things and it’s like drinking from a firehose listening to her – but the water is GREAT!

Start a local chapter!

Stories of students helping other students: 5 billion people lack access to proper surgical care. Talked about a student who lost both his arms, just above the elbow in an accident. Now trying to find solutions to help him. Having made a 3D scan of his arms, they can transmit these around the world and people can work on solutions, WITHOUT having to go to Nigeria!

What if Killer Robots were used to save lives?

Military drones have been used for decades, really effectively. Could we use drones to save lives instead of destroy them?

Problem: 3.75 billion people life in rural areas

Solution: deliver supplies to these folks

If you are a healthcare working in Rwanda, and you need blood, you can request blood through an SMS text, and the blood can be delivered by a remote drone. Happening today!

Drones can deliver antivenom to save time & lives in Amazon. Currently takes about 6 hours by boat to get treatment, using a drone, can get the antivenom within 30 minutes.

Problem: TB is difficult to diagnose due to transportation delays & conditions

Solution: Use drones to deliver samples to labs

Drone delivered AED – here in Canada, most likely to die by having a heart attack.

Drones used for disaster mapping

Mine Kafon Drone – find and remove land mines

Problem: 1 billion people live on $2 per day

Solution: Empower local markets to build drones and provide drone services

Problem: 4 billion people lack access to the Internet

Solution: Use solar-powered drones to beam down internet connectivity

Drone superheroes challenge

  • build and demo a drone to address a humanitarian need
  • Learn STEM skills & have fun!

julielynn.wong@3d4md.com

Julielynn was a fascinating speaker, who is making a difference for students and people all around the world, and above the world. Lots of great ideas, and pretty simple innovations that are earth-changing. Looks like a fantastic person to connect with and find a way to engage with our own students locally. Very excited to follow what is possible!

 

 

ISTE 2017 – Keynote Reshma Saujani

Here we are wonderful and amazing readers! It’s the last major session for ISTE 2017. (I know, y’all are asking where my notes and pictures of the Expo Hall are? Don’t worry, still working on that post, hopefully by later tonight I’ll have that one!) For now, it’s going to be wrap up time, and then Reshma Saujani!

Here we are again, with another great musician with some amazing music before we have our final speaker. They always find great musicians for the ISTE conference, last couple of years has been a group from Manitoba, nice to hear some local talent!

First up: Jennifer Ragan-Fore – ISTE Chief Events Officer

Jennifer had a great video with lots of clips from the conference! Some scenes from  all over the conference! (I’m hoping there will be a YouTube link soon, if there is, I’ll update this post!) Jennifer reminded us that ISTE staff is only 50 people, so everyone is working really hard to make everything work! She also recognized the program committee who ultimately make the amazing and incredible program work.

Dr. Jennifer Parker – co-founder of 21 Things
The Digital Age Drive Thru
21thingsproject.net

Jennifer spoke at length about some of the projects 21 Things has been involved in.

Mila Thomas Fuller – ISTE Board President is next:

Mila asked everyone to tweet one thing that they learned and can’t wait to implement, and introduced Lizzie Sider

Lizzie is passionate about dealing with and learning about bullying. When she was coming home from school, she would have this feeling that she was worthless, and she was able to adapt and wants to help other kids deal with bullying.

Lizzie reminded us that kids are kids, and when they feel involved, they feel empowered and they want to make a difference. Why do kids bully? Because they have been bullied before, it makes them feel powerful, because they are insecure. Same answer no matter where she goes, and what school types are out there.

How can school administrators help?

Often a lot of kids feel like they are alone, like they are the only ones going through something. Maybe they are the only ones with these problems. So it’s important to keep the conversation open with kids, and let kids and parents know that we’re all in the same place, and to be a listener actively.

What can faculty to  for a student who is experiencing cyber bullying and social media?

It’s really important to educate our children on how to use social media. Parents and teachers can be extremely helpful, and important in helping kids. We need to remind them that once something is out there – it’s out there, and can’t come back! People who cyber bully think social media is like a wall between them. However it can be so hurtful.

Lizzie did a live performance of her song Butterfly.

Mila thanked Lizzie, and then had two assignments for all of us. First, join a PLN, and find your local affiliate and volunteer. Second, cultivate the relationships with people who you met this year.

Tweet questions to @isteconnects for live Q&A after this keynote.

And now…

Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code
Book: “Women who don’t wait in line”

Reshma wanted to talk to us about Girls Who Code. Although she is not a coder. Reshma is the daughter of refugees. Her parents had to leave their country, wearing shorts and t-shirts, flew to Chicago and learned about winter, and made a new life for themselves.

When she graduated law school, she had $300K of student loans, and after 10 years still hadn’t finished, and still hadn’t run for public service. At age 33 she decided to run for United States Congress, against an 18 year incumbent. Had a 1% chance of winning. Built a website, raised $50K from folks who were happy an Indian girl was running. Was the best 10 months of her life. During her victory party, which didn’t end up being a victory party, just got 19% of the vote. No contingency plan. Establishment was upset at her.

As she visited schools, during the campaign, she visited 100’s of classes, robotics, computer classes, and didn’t see any girls. Just boys who wanted to grow up to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs. But where were the girls? It didn’t make sense to her that the % of women in the computing workforce and prediction that % continues to decrease. In 1995 – 37%, today, 24%, in 2025 – 22%.

Thousands of jobs available in computing science, but not enough people to take them on. 91% of the jobs are outside of New York, Silicon Valley, or Boston. They are not in traditional technology opportunities, but in finance, retail, and medicine. The solution? More women coming into the workforce, but it’s not happening.

Culture

When computers came out, they were typically advertised as toys for boys. Marketing and TV ads were targeted at boys. Stereotype that successful technology people were boys, nerds. Even in 2014 the TV show silicon valley is about boys. Not only do they not picture girls, but the picture of boys is not even appealing to girls.

In the 70’s and 80’s only 10% of doctors and lawyers were women. In the 80’s, 90’s, and today, girls are inundated with successful women who are doctors, and lawyers.

Similarly it was cool for girls NOT to be interested in math, or science. There was a Barbie who says let’s go shopping, not do math. It is considered acceptable to say “I hate math, or I hate science” but it wouldn’t be acceptable to say “I can’t really read, I don’t really write.” How many Moms say “Wait until Dad comes home to help you with your math.”

We raise our girls to be perfect, but we raise our boys to be brave.

Reshma decided to start a coding program for girls. Bought the domain name. Handpicked the first 20 girls. Bought pizza, and in 2012 she had the first group. And then partnered with Girls Who Code, and the Internet exploded. Today have taught over 40,000 girls how to code. Rout times the amount of women who graduated in computer science last year.

They are successful in two ways. Embed coding into classrooms. And run clubs in all 50 states after school. And it’s working. in 2018 there will be 10,000 alumni, starting as college freshmen.

Everyone has something they are passionate about, and this is Reshma’s. This is bigger than closing the gap, this is about leaving too many innovations on the sidelines.

Reshma gave some examples of girls who have come up with amazing things as a result of learning code, from inventing new algorithms, to winning major funding on Shark Tank, to girls who wrote a game called “Tampon Run”. No boy would ever write a game called this. Men invent things to replace their moms, what will girls invent?

Even books released suggest that girls can’t code, but that they will need help from boys to make it work. Culture needs to change.

One of the ways Reshma’s group can help, is books about Girls Who Code. They have a number of them coming out in August, 2017.

We can start a club. They are free, for 6th – 12th graders. Can be hosted in your community. They’ll bring the best swag we’ve ever seen in our lives.

https://girlswhocode.com/

Reshma thanked all of her partners who help make Girls Who Code work.

Reshma was very intriguing. She brought up ideas and issues that I hadn’t thought of. Our culture is used to treating girls differently, and not encouraging them in the directions of math and science. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but she made me think, and look at things in our culture a little differently. Thank you Reshma for all that you do, and wanting people, especially girls, to do more.

ISTE 2017 – Geekbumps and Nerdgasms

Todd’s notes: This is one of those crazy amazing sessions where the presenter talks about a whole bunch of new things that he has seen, gadgets, software, you name it. Some of them are practical, some are crazy, some are crazy expensive. This is just a sample of some of the items we talked about. You can link to all of the info in the presentation below. It is always fun to listen to Steve’s somewhat satirical look at some of the crazy things that are out there!

A Trek Beyond the Bleeding Edge
Steven Dembo
T42.link/iste
http://teach42.com/presentations/iste/geekbumps

Steve reminded us that this session could be expensive..

Pyro Mini Fireshooter ($150) – intended for magicians, and stage acts, literally launches fireballs, about the size of a package of cigarettes.

iBag 2 – timer that locks bag during high spending times. Warning LEDs blink when wallet is removed. GPS tracker vibrates when entering spending zones. Bluetooth tracker if bag moves a distance away from you.

Sweep N Sing – broom with karaoke microphone attached to the end.

f.flashes – Interactive LED lashes

LEGO Tape – $5.50 – tape that you can connect LEGO to.

Ninja Flex – filament and instructions to make your own LEGo tape

Kerastase Hair Coach – Wi-fi enabled hair brush. When you are brushing your hair, it will sense how healthy your hair is.

Hidrate Spark ($46.95)  – reminds you when to drink

Foldimate – Robotic clothes folding. Put it next to your dryer and it folds automatically.

Predator X21 ($9000) – Most powerful laptop out there, and it’s large.

Amazon Echo – family of products to talk/interact with. Echo wand – will scan a barcode, and add into your shopping cart in Amazon, once you get to $40, it will ship your items for free. This space of products is starting to fill out – lots of options! Now an echo ring – voice translator and personal assistant.

Bouncy Bands ($15) – stretches around bottom of the desk, kids put their feet on them and bounce around. Could do it with a tire tube too!

Rotablade Stubby ($120-650) – Fancy spinner and fidget toys

Tech Tats – temporary tattoos, soundwave (permanent tattoos).

Silhouette Temporary Tattoo Paper

Bare Conductive – Touch Board Starter Kit – may actually work on skin – not that it’s been approved or tested… Nudge nudge wink wink

Circuit Scribe Maker Kit ($70) – use a pen to draw a circuit. And all kinds of pieces to make circuits.

Levis Commuter Smart Jacket – $350, Jacquard – you can use different motions to interact with your phone, like answering, making calls, etc.

Game of Drones

Kitables Drone Kits ($50-$70) – Build your own drone, but you do have to solder some wires, and some zip ties. Can 3D print your own drone frames to improve.

Flybrix – $249 with a controller. Some parts are built with LEGO, but way more than a LEGO drone. Software is awesome, you can access and record all the data – around how the drone is flying, etc. Even logic around how the lights work, and in the future, how it flies. There is a Chrome extension that lets you see all the data about the drone, in real time.

Eachine X200 Wizard ($130-200) – modular

Quadcopter -> just flies

Drone -> brain

Parrot Mambo ($100) – One button to take off. One button to land. It takes care of itself. Has bumpers around the rotors, so you can bump into things. Can attach a camera.

Raspberry Pi Zero W – Now has bluetooth and wi-fi for $10.

  • Pi-Hole – Black hole for Internet Advertisements

Prusa i3 MK2S ($700-$900) 3D Printer Ridiculously reliable. Upgrade kit – multimaterial upgrade kit -> Now 4 different colours at once.

Polar 3D – continuously 3D print, printer is on a track.. Cloud connected, you don’t need to dedicate a computer to it.

Rocketbook Everlast ($75). Make notes, take pictures, then microwave the book and it erases. Seriously! You take notes in it like a regular notebook. Take picture of the page, which will automatically store it, then erase the pages by microwaving the whole book.

Elbow Cassette Player – USB connected.

 

ISTE 2017 – Keynote Jennie Magiera

IMG_3808Morning everyone! We’re getting ready to start the Tuesday morning keynote, and we have another live band – looks like a group of high school students – and they are marvelous! You’d have to be to get up so early in the morning and start playing music just before 8:00 AM for a crowd of thousands of people. Way to go Charlie Bell!

IMG_3810IMG_3809Mila welcomed everyone to the day. And talked briefly about ISTE Awards, and showed some slides of the recipients who were recognized yesterday at the Awards Luncheon. As you saw from my post yesterday, I appreciate how ISTE spends some extra time and effort recognizing people who make a difference.

IMG_3811Clara Alaniz @techclara – Plano Independent School District

Clara’s parents grow Cilantro in their garden.

Collaborate, Learn, Instruct, Create, Know (CLICK) – Education and Technology Tips for students and teachers.

Perhaps as professionals we are gardeners – cultivating our garden and encouraging kids. Empowered professionals have the responsibility to be advocates, so that all learners have access to everything they need. All of our students deserve to be the surprising Cilantro, who grow wherever they can.

ISTE Standards are not things to do, but a way to be. When you consider future goals against the Standards, you have to think about “What do I want to be?” The student standards help students become empowered learners.

It’s nice to be surprised when the Cilantro grows, but make the effort “Grow!” Make it happen, even though you’ll have setbacks of your own!

And now here’s Richard – ISTE CEO

Richard invited a group of students from Texas, Chicago, and Michigan to have a conversation. From Grade six to first year College.

IMG_3812Richard asked: Can you tell us about the most memorable learning experience you had? There were examples about how students were engaged in hands on activities, or in person things – not just paperwork. Using a 3D printer for one of the first time, spent too much time on one thing.

If someone asked about gaming, what would you say?

Games are great because they make education fun, and when it’s fun, people learn things. Children want to learn, but they want to have fun doing it. (This from the Grade six student). Created a game in scratch. Another student would like to start his own YouTube channel. Was inspired by all the people who used YouTube to inspire others in so many areas – and get paid for it too!;) Perhaps would like to inspire basketball players and get his name out there.

If there was one thing they wish we would stop doing in Education? Homework. Desks. (Yep, from the kids)

Hilda had a chance to join a program for girls who code, and was so excited to participate. But it was hard to convince her family, who had recently moved to the U.S., but with the help of translators and lots of support, she made it happen.

What type of tech should be used more in Education? Definitely VR. Saw a glove that had resistance, so you could reach out and touch a virtual object, but also feel that you were holding something. This creates a more immersive experience for students who are doing a more in-depth project.

What do you want to do when you grow up? An engineer or professional basketball player, Biological Oceanographer, game developer, computer scientist, a teacher (elementary school), and then President.

Any advice for teachers? Make education as fun as possible! Know your students, know what they like / don’t like. Hands on doesn’t just have to be with science, with words, math, etc. use real life experiences, not just worksheets.

Great conversation with a group of kids! Way to go kids, good job Richard!

Keynote – Jennie Magiera
Chief Innovation Officer
Des Plaines, Illinois

IMG_3816Book: Courageous Adventures

Nervous about speaking today a little, because it’s like speaking in front of your family.

Jennie opened with a story about a little girl in Korea. Dad moved to the U.S., and then after some time invited the kids to move to New York City – which was dazzling. Excited because her mother was taking her to city hall to get an American name – which meant she could re-invent herself. And she would get a new name “Carol”. City Hall clerk asked how to spell it. However with language barrier, Carol became Kello. When she went to school, it was difficult as she was made fun of, and this became her single story – the girl with the mistake name.

In fourth grade things changed, and the teacher asked what she wanted to be known as. She thought it was great to be asked, and she decided to be called Katie. When she turned 18 years old, she legally changed her name to be Katie. She grew up to be funny, amazing, and outgoing and adventurous, and that was Jennie’s Mom.

Teachers can help you be your whole self – advice from her Mom.

Ted Talk – The Danger of the Single Story

Stereotypes aren’t wrong. They’re just incomplete. – Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

Single Stories, or Untold Stories. What are our untold stories:

Chapter 1 – The Single Story of Student Self-Image – The Untold Story of Limitless Potential

Jennie told us about when she first received some Dot and Dash robots, and a young girl said “I can’t code, I’m a girl.” Jennie had a video with a group of young girls who had coded a robot to dance. They started on Monday, and by Thursday had made a video of the robot dancing. They got Dash to be their fourth dancer. Solving their problems through code. Afterwards they were embarrassed that they figured they couldn’t do it at the beginning.

You can be whoever you want, and you can be the first.

Chapter 2 – The Single Story of Teachers – The Untold Story of Wizards

Jim is an attorney, but that’s not who he is, that’s his job. He does other things. But for Jennie, being an Educator is not just what she does, but it is what she IS. Jennie’s fourth grade teacher who burst into the room looking for her pet dinosaur, getting started as an adventure. Jennie reminded us that her favourite book was the Hobbit, and Gandalf was looking for someone to share his adventure. Anyone can start their own adventure and invite people around.

Teachers are Wizards

Chapter 3 – The Single Story of Resistant Colleagues – the Untold Story of Friendly Dragons

Jennie’s first ISTE conference was in 2012 and thought it felt like a wizard convention. These are teachers who get it. But going home is really hard, back to our mortal realms. Going home from ISTE is devastating.

I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging…. and it’s very difficult to find anyone.

Going home it’s hard because you’re leaving your people who understand, who are running towards you. But going home some people are running away. Are we losing some of our wizarding magic? How can people be like this?

Jennie’s Mom told her the fanciful story of people in Korea who couldn’t go up the mountain, because a dragon was in the way. A brave villager decided to get there, and discovers the dragons arm is covered in thorns. Helps the dragon, who then transforms into a friendly dragon, who happens to be the village chief.

Therefore when you are working with someone who is pushing back, take a step back and listen to them, and help with their problem first, before you expect them to listen to you! You can help them turn into a wizard.

Chapter 4 – The Single Story We Tell the World – The Untold Story of Our Inner Selves

New York Times – Don’t let Facebook Make You Miserable

Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. Of course this is difficult advice to follow. Jennie shared a personal story about how she looked for help through Facebook, and within a day had over 100 people call, text, e-mail, or even show up at her house to encourage her.

There are fails in school, but that’s not a reason to pack up your teacher bag and leave it.

Chapter 5 – How Technology Helps Us Shatter the Single Story

Technology should enhance our connection to each other. Your story can only be told if you have an audience. It can only be told if you are connected to someone else. I can create a blog post, a piece of media, etc. and I can share this with the world. Our kids love to share their untold stories. They love to post to YouTube, they love to see that people are looking at their videos and listening to their stories. They said the best things in school was sharing thoughts and stories with video.

When we allow our students to have those voices, and the audience cares about what they have to say – it unlocks something within them.

Jennie shared a story how the local media only reported about the violence that happened in their city, and they started telling their stories, and they were picked up by the media, and they sent people out to talk to the kids. And the kids had a voice. And the kids were heard.

It is incredible what we can do today, how small the world has become.

Challenge: Tell your #ISTEStory. Take video, post it, and Jennie’s students will review.

Epilogue – The Blue Bird

Teachers can help you be your whole self. Jennie returned to see her fourth grade teacher to thank her. The teacher had been in touch with her Mom as she grew up, and she knew what she was up to. Her teacher told her she had to be herself. It’s great that she wants to be more like her teacher, but she needs to be her own teacher.

If you try to be me, then who will be you?

What story do you have left to tell? What stories will inspire our students to be better?

Find the untold stories and set them free!

What makes a great speaker? Is it amazing slides? Is it videos that have been made by kids? Is it awesome music and soundtracks? Is it a live band? Is it because you have accomplished something amazing?

It’s when you speak from the heart. It’s when you tell your personal story. It’s when people can connect with you because you reached out to them. Jennie was this and more. Thank you!

 

ISTE 2017 – Day Four

Here we are on Day Four! This is a bit of an unusual conference day for me! Started with some sessions in the morning, check my other postings for some of those.

By the way, my hotel has make-your-own waffles – shaped like the State of Texas. Had one this morning – was delicious!

waffle

But then I had a chance to participate / volunteer with the ISTE Awards lunch.

ISTE does a really good job of recognizing the work and effort put forth by it’s members. There is recognition for the many volunteer hours put in by ISTE members, which include certificates and signed letters from the President of the United States. There are other individual recognition awards given for various reasons. There are people recognized from each of the Professional Learning Networks.

There are Making IT Happen awards done by many affiliates on behalf of ISTE, and there are Marking IT Happen awards made nationally by ISTE to deserving people!

Many of these folks are invited to this special lunch today, and it was an amazing lunch, followed by many awards presentations! It was wonderful to be a part of this! What was my role? You know, it was pretty small, my job was to run the slide show and try and keep the secret information secret until the recipients were revealed. I was extremely impressed with the ISTE staff who ran this day, and made a lot of people, who were very deserving, feel very special! I’m proud to part of an organization that does it’s best to recognize people! Thanks ISTE!

As soon as it was finished, around 1:30 PM, I had to quickly run to my volunteer shift. For a number of years I have been a Volunteer Champion. The ISTE Conference needs a lot of volunteers to run, and I find it a GREAT way to get to know people, and help make a difference! As a Volunteer Champion, I have to put in eight hours of volunteering throughout the conference – I do this in two different four hour shifts.

Today’s shift was in an Ask Me booth. We are placed in a high traffic area, available to try and answer whatever questions we can from the 21,000 people who are here. Most questions are around “How do I get to ____?” So we really have to know the facility, and how to use the ISTE 2017 app, and just general area. We get questions like “Where can I get a coffee? Where is the parking lot? Where can I get food? How come I can’t find room 217?” and so on. Here’s a picture of my with my co-volunteer – 

Ask Me

It is an absolute blast to chat with people all afternoon long and help them get around. Everyone should volunteer, even if it is only an hour or two. You will never regret it!

Was hoping to go to Lulu’s Bakery tonight to try the 3 lb Cinnamon Roll, sadly I couldn’t get a big enough group together – there’s no way I’m going to eat one all by myself! So went for a quick dinner, and spent the evening catching up on e-mail, and organizing my notes and gear for tomorrow!