Home > iste > Sun 6/24: ISTE recap, Day One

Sun 6/24: ISTE recap, Day One

Here’s a quick recap of the sessions that I attended on Sunday:

Successfully Implementing Google Apps for Education

This three-hour workshop was divided into two parts. The first part gave an overview of the Google Apps migration and setup process, and the second talked abou best practices in using GAFE. Since Hotchkiss had already been through the migration process, the first half was not as useful for me. But I did appreciate in the second half where they talked about different ways that they were currently using Google Apps in the different grades at their school. It was also interesting to see how they were using Sites to create the school intranet. If we abandon Blackboard (or even if we don’t), we will probably look at a similar solution.

 

Flip Teaching Secondary Mathematics — Best Practice in Action

This afternoon workshop was illuminating for several reasons. One was a fascinating trick with coffee creamers that I can’t wait to use as an icebreaker with my math department colleagues. But more importantly, Jason Roy’s approach to flipped classrooms is very different from the stereotypical “video at night — work during the day” model. His technique does share the fundamental tenet of flipping — getting the lecture out of the classroom — but he doesn’t necessarily reserve out-of-class time for content delivery. In fact, it seemed as if his students spent as much time doing work out of class as they did in class. I was left wondering where exactly they learn new material. I also found it interesting that he uses the Exeter problem sets in his teaching — should we reasonably conclude they are everywhere if they have made it to the American School in Bombay?

 

Keynote Address

This year, unfortunately, I found the keynote to be very underwhelming. After the obligatory 30 minutes of speechifying and public thank-yous, there was only 45 minutes left for what was supposed to be a four-person panel discussion. I don’t know about you, but 45 mins / 4 people = 10 minutes = not a really productive use of time. I would have preferred if they had just chosen one or two of the panelists and had them present to us for the full time period. In the past, I have enjoyed hearing from dynamic speakers who were not necessarily directly connected to education. Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki spring to mind. Sadly, there was nothing memorable about this year’s keynote.

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