Each year, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) awards grants of up to $1,500 for technology integration projects in classrooms. This is a fantastic opportunity to fund things that you learned at the conference, or have been wanting to do,but lacked the resources.
The grant worksheet, rubric and application are available at the MACUL website. Make sure to get working on it today, as the deadline is Monday, May 16, 2016.
Michigan’s most robust educational technology conference is in Grand Rapids this year, March 9-11. If you have not signed up yet, early registration ends February 23. After that, the price goes up $50. You can register here.
Signing up is step one. There are many ways to make your experience more than just an interesting series of sessions. Here a few ideas for you to consider:
1. ) Plan – Generate ideas about what you want to get out of the conference. Based on that, choose sessions and events that address those ideas. If you are going with colleagues, create a system for shared notes around your common goals. Make sure people record links and thinking. You could use this group notes template or something similar.
2.)Reach Out – Many smart, inspiring people will be there, and they will talk, Tweet, or communicate with you if you are open to it. Ask presenters questions, engage with people in sessions; that’s often when the most meaningful experiences occur. Note, I encourage you to write about those experiences in your notes too.
3.) Get Involved – You can volunteer to help with the many tasks required to run such a conference, you can bring a group of students for the student showcase, and/or you can submit to do a Lightning Talk. Here are links to more on each of those: volunteer, student showcase, Lightning Talk (deadline for Lightning Talks is Jan. 30).
Even if you can’t make it, you can access resources and responses using the hashtag #Macul16. This is just a shortlist of the possibilities. The rest is up to you.
In late November, I visited Kelly in her native environment-that is, at a school and as usual, up to her elbows in making school more awesome for kids. On this day, she was deploying a very cool inquiry based learning adventure called Breakout EDU.
BreakoutEDU started as an idea pitched by James Sanders at the Illinois Future Ready Schools summit in 2015. James is currently the Chief Innovation Officer, EdTechTeam.
At the keynote, James shared his idea about what are called “breakout rooms” and gave background about how they all came about. He went on to explain that there are these escape rooms around the world where you pay to get “locked in” a room with friends and try to escape by solving puzzles and unlocking codes. There was even an episode of Big bang Theory around this game.
James was with some high school students in Edmonton, Canada playing one of these escape room games and he was amazed at how engaged and hard these students were working to solve the puzzle during this game. James wanted to turn this incredible learning experience of problem solving and fun and into something that can be used in the classroom.
Shortly after, James launched the BreakoutEDU website which includes links to pre-created learning adventures and turn-key kits so you can run your own BreakoutEDU game.
Here’s how BreakoutEDU works.
How breakouts are being used
Breakouts are being used to teach core academic subjects including math, science, history, and language arts. Each adventure has embedded standards that apply problem solving strategies within a real world OR collaborative context.
A feature of BreakoutEDU is that the quest to solve the mysteries is very much rooted in inquiry based learning where learning or solving a particular problem revolves solving a central question.
The framework of the learning game ensures that Involvement that leads to understanding, and that players are Converting information and data into useful knowledge. The learning is centered around the process of figuring the problem out, all in a student centered, collaborative manner.
As you watch the game unfold, you will see the learners collaborate, question, investigate, and observe each other’s thinking.
For more information on how you too can make the magic happen in your classroom, check out these resources:
Mark your calendars now and sign up for two action-packed days of technology infused learning at Macomb Intermediate School District. This conference brings Michigan Educators two days of pre-conference sessions, hands-on workshops and engaging conference sessions. Plan to attend one or both days! Check out innovative resources, new and emerging technologies, and classroom applications to get started today.Find out how to successfully integrate technology, and network with educators to develop best practice in technology embedded instruction.
This year Leslie Fisher will be on hand to share “Tools You Can Use Tomorrow”.This exciting keynote will help you sort through the many resources available to focus in on those that can have a profound effect on both our time in the classroom and out. She’ll showcase top tools in Web 2.0, Mobile, Apps, and hardware. Leslie will also be on hand for preconference and conference sessions. Known for her humor, enthusiasm, and lightning speed round presentation style, get prepared for an engaging presentation on technology and learning. For more on Leslie, visit her website.
Have you signed up yet? GoogleFEST is a one day professional and personalized learning conference for educators, presented by the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL), Google, and CDW-G.
The keynote speaker is Pernille Ripp, a teacher, speaker, and author. Her work has influenced thousands of teachers globally, as well as the work of school districts across the United States. She teaches others how to give the classroom back to students. Her first book will be republished this fall titled “Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students.”
Looking for a great educational technology camp to attend in a wonderful destination?
The CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp hosted by MACUL will arrive in Saugatuck, MI from July 7 through 9, 2015.
All three days consist of two, two-hour sessions allowing attendees to “dig in deep” and really get to know their topic and build resources to use next year. Morning sessions are repeated in the afternoon so that attendees have two different opportunities to attend a workshop.
The CUE Rock Star events are built so that there is one presenter for every ten attendees and the events sell out at 60-70 attendees.