If you have followed my ISTE journey over the past few years, you know that I am obsessed with IGNITE sessions. This series of 5 minute presentations are fast paced looks at ideas presented quickly and effectively. In these 5 minute presentations, the presenter has 20 slides which advance automatically every 15 seconds.
This first session of IGNITEs included student presenters. Last year, they were the star of the show, so I was very excited to hear new students present.
One of the student presentations was from Evan Osgood, a member of the Tiger Tech Crew (student tech support). This 13 year old opened with a joke that made the whole room laugh, and continued the relaxed comedy throughout the presentation. The session was about being a student in a student tech support group, and since I run student tech myself, it was interesting to hear the student perspective. It was fun to hear, and he had some good laughs. Great work Evan!
A theme in last year’s student IGNITEs was students taking ownership of their learning because they weren’t getting what they needed in school. This sentiment was echoed by Jada Keplinger, a 16 year old girl who wrote and illustrated a children’s book for her little brother’s first birthday, then published that book, and provided copies of the book, funded through GoFundMe, to every PreK and kindergarten student in her town! She walked us through the process, the tools she used, and what she learned, with the goal of getting teachers to let their students do the same! Wow! Click here for Jada’s website to learn more.
I can’t even with this little boy Nate Butkus. He is 8 years old. Yes, 8! He’s so tiny, I literally can’t see him because the podium is taller than him, and he gave a perfect IGNITE. Seriously, watch:
O. M. Geeee!!! Nate Butkus is 8!! He is so tiny that you literally can’t see him behind the podium!!! He is so adorable I can’t even. And he’s a Podcaster. Wow, wow, wow!!! #ISTE18 #ignite pic.twitter.com/qlQPlMh61s
— Brad Shreffler (@BradShreffler) June 24, 2018
He is also the host of The Show About Science Podcast. AT 8!! This kid was totally amazing. Learn more about Nate and his show by clicking here.
Jen Giffen took the stage fast and instantly owned it with clear confidence. She presented on What Making Pancakes Taught Her About Teaching. The basic premise is that it is a learning process about failing and learning from that failure, requiring reflection on the failures to iterate the process. It was a great metaphor, and Jen presented it perfectly.
Elliana Donally is a 6 year old girl who announced early in her presentation that she has dyslexia. Then, she proceeded to read through her entire 5 minute presentation, and it was awesome! Her premise was that while dyslexia can be a challenge sometimes, it also means she see the world differently, and it doesn’t mean she can’t think. It was genuinely impressive, and I particularly liked the changes of font to give us as an audience a view of how she sees things.
Pernille Ripp closed out the session. She started with a story of her fear of a cop pulling her over, possibly for speeding, and being terrified that she didn’t have her green card, the document that as a Danish citizen she needed to be in the US. But due to her white skin and blonde hair, she was never asked for her green card. She proceeded to explain that is white privilege, but many of our students don’t have that privilege, and we as teachers need to do more to create opportunities for our students to open their minds. Technology can be used to do more than just engage students and be fun, Pernille says, it can be used to tell the whole story. “The true power of technology is the power to break down walls” she includes in her speech. It was a powerful and passionate presentation.
Overall, the IGNITEs did not disappoint. Always awesome sessions, and I can’t wait for Round 2 tomorrow!