ISTE2015 – Ignite Talks Round 3

For anyone who doesn’t know, an Ignite talk is a 5 minute, fast paced talk. Behind the presenter is a series of 20 slides with a 15 second timer. The slide auto-forwards every 15 seconds, meaning you must be on your game in terms of preparation and speed. My students did Ignite talks as the end of their TED Talk project.

The first presenter is Jenn Scheffer (@jlscheffer) who presented on her student help desk. This essentially imitates the Apple Genius Bar, run by students, to help students and staff with technology issues in their 1 to 1 school. Jenn takes it a thousand times farther by making this a truly college and career ready course. Some of her students have worked on, and published an app, have built an amazing online presence as a digital citizens, and have just generally improved their school with their work. Jenn is amazing, and I will be connecting further with her as I build my class of students doing something similar.

Another awesome talk was done by Dr. Cynthia Vavasseur (@drvav) who presented on her ITPD3 system for Professional Development. This is built around the basic premise that most PD is a waste of time because it isn’t tailored to the staff who need it. Like the Charmed Ones, she uses the power of three to break up the PD model. She breaks the process into 3 steps (pre-PD, during PD, post-PD follow-up) and uses 3 trainers to divide staff into 3 groups based on technology proficiency. I will be referring to her website ( in the future to help me reconsider my PD.

This session had lots of other neat ideas, small sparks, and little gems. Of the sessions I’ve attended so far, this was easily the best one. I can say I walk away from this excited and ready to try new things.

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