Friday, October 17, 2014

TIES 2014

I cannot wait for the TIES convention this year.

I first learned of TIES back in 2010.  That's when one of my favorite people on earth, Sir Ken Robinson, was going to be the Keynote speaker.

I wasn't able to go, so I had to eat my heart out of jealousy.

Then a few years the Keynote speakers were none of than Simon Sinek and Tony Wanger, both of whom were also some of my favorite people in all of education.

I was lucky enough, though, to be part of the TRF cohort who travelled down to the cities for the TIES convention last year.  The Keynote speaker?  Again, one of my favorites, Marc Prensky, whose essay, Engage me or Enrage me, has been a staple in my College Comp class for years.

This year the Keynote speakers are again, two of my favorite people (I'm sensing a theme here): Yong Zhao, whose book World Class Learners, I read two years ago, and Jane McGonigal, whose TED TALK on gaming has fascinated me for years as well, and who is also one of the best follows on all of Twitter See the video below.

In doing a bit of research on these two, I found two other excellent resources -

McGonigal on the Colbert Report -

Yong Zhao

And his hilarious TED X Talk

Zhao will be the Keynote on Monday and McGonigal will be the Keynote on Tuesday.

On top of that, another one of the phenomenal guest speakers from last year, and one of my favorite bloggers, George Courus will be again speaking on Monday.

Can't wait to soak it all up.

As if that wasn't enough, though, I am actually privileged to be presenting two sessions on Tuesday.

One of my breakout session is entitled, Digital Classroom: Create a Dynamic Social Media Platform.

If you know me at all, you this topic is not just near and dear to my heart, but it's actually entwined in my very DNA as a teacher.

Here is the long description


Meet the Millennials (and now Generation Z) where they live and thrive: on social media. Teachers must make social media work for them. After all, our students are talking about us and our classrooms on their social media platforms. This is inevitable. The only thing we can control is what our students have to say about us. Are students venting about esoteric subject matter that has no connection to lives? Are they ranting about tedious Powerpoints and lectures? Are they objecting to apparent busywork that has no value for them? Perhaps, our students have a point. If teachers embrace social media, though, they can transform not only their teaching, but they can also market their teaching as a brand. Teachers can use social media to show students how our subject matter actually connects to their lives and pop culture. Teachers can use social media as part of their traditional classroom to make Powerpoints and discussions more relevant. Teachers can also use social media to give students a voice in crafting content in our classes. Most importantly, social media allows teachers to transform themselves into digital role models to show our students what it is like to leave a positive digital footprint and to be a life long learner who actually has a personality and passions outside of school. This allows teachers to connect with – and market to – students like never before. This session will focus on forging an interactive, supportive, and irresistibly engaging digital classroom culture via these social media sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogger, Youtube, TED Ed, and Twitter. This session will focus on the works of John Merrow, Don Tapscott, Michael Hyatt, Ruben R. Puentedura, Mike Lanouette, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin.
The main focus will be on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogger, Youtube, TED Ed, and Twitter. There will also be mention of Storify, Infographs, Tweet Deck, and QR codes.
I. Intro to social media II. Explore how schools have changed (using John Merrow's work from The Influence of Teachers here): school used to serve three functions: knowledge repository, social, and in loco parentis. Today, the only one still relevant is in loco parentis. III. Exploration of what it is like to be a 21st century student (using Don Tapscott's Grown Up Digital here). IV. How to engage the millennials/Gen Z (using Mike Lanouette's 10 Traits of Highly Effective Instructors) using social media. V. Explore how building a personalized classroom brand via social media is key to developing a positive culture (using the works of Seth Godin here). VI. Share my personal story as a digital immigrant and my conversion to social media proponent. VII. Explore the pitfalls of social media to show how they pale in comparison to the benefits of social media to transform teaching (using Michael Hyatt's Platform: How to Get Recognized in a Noisy World, Gary Vaynerchuk's Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook! and Ruben Puentedura's concept of SAMR) VIII. In depth exploration of how I (or our school and other staff members) use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogger, Youtube, TED Ed, and Twitter to develop a positive culture.
My other breakout session is Flipped Classrooms: Lesson Plans for a 1:1 School.

Here is the description


Attendees will witness the teaching and learning methods of how to create an engaging and interactive flipped classroom. I will emphasize how I use Google Docs and Blogger as my base platforms to flip my high school English classes. I will illustrate how we use Google Docs to draft, revise, and, ultimately, submit assignments. Then I will walk attendees through how we use Blogger for discussions, to publish and distribute student work, and as a platform to embed the main tools I use to build many of my lessons: TED Ed and Storify. Attendees will leave with a clear idea how to use Google Docs and Blogger in their own classes. They will see first hand how I use Google Docs to make my classroom as paperless as possible through a real-time submission process with my class back in Thief River Falls. I will model my two classroom blogs for College Comp I and II. I will focus on how I use Blogger as an online base for nearly everything we do in class. I will also share student-generated blogs for various projects in my class. If attendees are interested enough, they may even choose to create a blog specific to one of their own classes. Attendees will also leave with the ability to build specific lessons unique to their classes using TED Ed and Storify. Attendees will see how they can use TED Ed to modify not only TED Talks but also any video on Youtube (or any video they choose to upload to Youtube) to their individual units or lessons. Likewise, attendees will see how they can use Storify as a way to stockpile resources unique to their own units or lessons and then distribute them to their students.
We will explore Google Docs (namely Drive), Blogger, TED Ed, and Storify.
I. Intro to my flipped classes II. Explore the benefits and negatives of Google Docs and Blogger III. Show my blogs and student generated blogs IV. Google Docs as a way to make my classes as paperless as possible V. Blogger, my base platform – allows for engaging and interactive content. VI. Sample lessons for TED Ed and Storify. VII. Time to create a blog for attendees classes or time to create individual lessons using either TED Ed or Storify.

Part of me is terrified.  But part of me cannot wait for December 8 and 9! #livingthedream

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