Kyle Bowen kicked off the session talking about Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching. He had some great points about what AI really is, and ultimately shared some experiments he is working on with others at Penn State. The huge takeaway is his slides! The graphic work was excellent, from the Maslow’s Hierarchy with the bottom level stickers of Wifi and Power. And the graphic of the BYOD Action Figure (in the style of GI Joe) “Now with kung fu texting grip.” The whole audience was laughing at each slide, which helped drive home the message, which is we need to be thinking about how we can use AI to enhance learning.
The session included another student presenter, Austin Tong. He also presented last year at ISTE, and was one of the students who really stole the stage. Austin is a powerful student voice calling for personalized learning. He shared a number of examples of his own work at his school, including projects generated in MInecraft, with video editing, and with no-tech options (like making a board game). The important thing, according to Austin, “it is important to get to know your students and provide them the space to learn.” Really impressive presentation.
Another excellent session was Promoting Social Emotional Learning with Technology and the Makerspace with Robert Ruff. Robert is a music teacher and tech coach (mind blown!). He talked about some easy and interesting ways to improve social emotional learning, which is making sure students are being treated well, are engaged in their learning, and are cared for so they can learn content. One idea I particularly liked was the implementation of random acts of kindness cards. Students would commit a random act of kindness, and pass the card along. Those cards had tracking numbers on them, and the students could fill out a short Google Form with that number so they could track who gave them the card, and where their random act was passed on. How cool is that?
Bonnie McClelland presented on her project #GridPals. It uses Flipgrid as a way for classes of students to interact in a PenPal style format, but through video and real conversation. You can find more at FlipGrid’s Blog. This is a powerful way to bring authentic connections into classrooms, and it is truly simple to setup.
Overall, an excellent session. Still love IGNITEs, and I can’t wait to present mine on Wednesday!!