Talking about blogging and tweeting at my first tech conference...

I presented at Ednado, a tech conference in my district that drew in participants and presenters mostly from local districts but some from further afield (2-3 hours away, on a Saturday at 8 am?! Whoa.). 

             Ms. Hesslein making art in MOMA art lab app during my session at Ednado! 

I am pretty new to blogging and tweeting, so the fact that I presented is a bit mind blowing for me. Turns out, I learned a ton at the conference, saw 3-D printing, Augmented Reality, and kid-built robots that hook up to circuit boards and move!  I was in a workshop with Brian Blodnett, a middle school math teacher who uses Guitar Hero as a Music Monday brain kickstart, getting his students' brains ready to work (plus it teaches fractions in the form of half, quarter, eighth and whole notes, and promotes respectful teamwork).  Very fun and engaging--how can I use this idea?  I loved the presentation by middle school STEM specialists from Middletown Schools, showing the steps their students took in designing, building a prototype, and printing iPhone stands.  My STEAM curiosity was so into this!

             Dr. George, our superintendent, and Ms. Hesslein exploring MOMA Art Lab.

But my workshop....well, let's just say if you are an art teacher presenting at a tech conference, don't put "art" in the title of your session!  Due to that error of judgement, my group was small and a bit familiar (my principal, two colleague/friends who are very supportive, and my superintendent) but I couldn't have asked for better.  Not only did they laugh at all of my jokes, but they gave great feedback.  

Thank you, Mr. Font and Mrs. Zupancic, my principal at Village School, for attending and having fun!

The message of my session was that, as an art teacher, I have tons to share in a blog or tweet, but I never really knew that until I started doing it.  After only a few months of blog posts and tweets, I have built a professional learning network that I regularly get ideas and inspiration from.  I share my thoughts and insights, and get much needed feedback.  

Being the only art teacher in a building can be a somewhat isolated existence, because I have no colleagues in my discipline within arm's reach.  I work with amazing people who are always on board to share and collaborate.  Yet, as helpful and collaborative as my colleagues are in both schools, sometimes I just need another art teacher's crazy brain to pick! 

                                        Awesome Calder mobile, Mr. Font! 

As I write this, I am less than 48 hours away from the art show and band concert at Village School.  It is always a fun night to celebrate the arts--hope to see everyone there!


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