IntegratED PDX 2014 Reflection

When I read this tweet, I was experiencing the same feeling. This year, there were some changes at IntegratED PDX: the dates switched to the end of the week at the end of February and there was also a one-day pre-conference event called Accelerate for administrators and leaders. I was fortunate enough to lead a session at Accelerate with Jennifer Scypinski, which was titled BrandED: Telling Your Story. We discussed why telling your school or classroom story was important and allowed time for exploration of technology tools that could assist with that. The most relevant nugget of information from our session: talk about what interests your community, teachers, students and parents, not about what interests you. (Hat tip to Ben Grey for sharing that at #spark14.)

Like previous years, iPDX did not disappoint. There were a wide variety of excellent presenters and interesting workshops. I know that Darren Hudgins and OETC make it a goal of the IntegratED events to offer so many great sessions that it’s literally impossible to decide on one for each time slot. The conference was jam-packed with too many amazing options (could be a negative, not a lot of down time). From using bare conductive ink and making with Mark Frauenfelder, doing a quickfire challenge with Leigh Graves Wolf  and letting students be amazing with Ben Grey to getting physically challenged with Adam Howell, designing learning spaces with Carolyn Foote and writing with Bud Hunt, these are sessions that I’ve only ever seen at IntegratED. The main reason for that is the nature of the conference itself–longer session times (up to two hours) with the expectation of active and interactive learning from the hand-picked presenters.

Some other highlights:

  • The Makerspace onsite at the conference was fantastic. This space was always full of participants making and playing with stuff: creating duct tape iPad cases and wallets, soldering a simple circuit or extracting DNA from strawberries. I loved seeing this grassroots innovation being fostered in our learning community.
  • It was fun to see the Techlandia crew broadcasting live from the event. They asked special guests to join them on stage for mini-interviews.
  • The Room to Grow Studio sessions allowed time for participants to apply knowledge gained from earlier workshops to professional goals or projects. Mentors were available to help problem-solve and launch ideas.

The main reason this is my favorite conference is because of the learning and the connecting with others. The longer sessions give participants the opportunity for deeper thinking and lots of conversations. Most of the sessions I chose to attend directly affected my work and ideas and resources could be applied immediately. Building relationships with old and new friends is a large part of what makes this event so special. It provides a connected learning experience that is social, participatory, engaging and powerful–a perfect model for what our schools should be.

IntegratED San Francisco 2014 will take place Oct. 3-4 and IntegratED PDX 2015 will take place Feb. 25-27. Start making plans now!

Read Tim Lauer’s conference recap here.

Collaborative notes doc
Group notes for all iPDX14 sessions.

iPDX14 Tagboard
Social media posts in one place.

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Author: mlimpdx

Education Technology at Portland Public Schools in Portland, OR

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