“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Saturday, July 20, 2013

ADE Institute 2013 North America

Well, I'm back after a full week in Austin, TX. What a way to spend some summer time! I have come back inspired, empowered, and engaged in learning! I was at the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) Institute 2013 North America. 

W-h-a-t  a  b-l-a-s-t! An intense week of professional development hosted by Apple. This institute represents for me an opportunity to meet new people, make new connections, learn from awesome teachers, attend workshops, and very importantly, reunite with my old and new friends!

This has been the best PD I have had yet. The Apple folks have a way to make each and every one of us feel special. I am very grateful for this opportunity to attend as alumna of the ADE program and together welcome the new ADE class of 2013.

Around 400 educators coming from different places from Canada, United States and Mexico, attended engaging, fast-paced, hands-on conference sessions led by ADEs for ADEs. 

A plus in this year's institute was the presence of a large variety of developers, in an event titled "Meet the Developers". I had the chance to meet the developers and designers of different applications that we use at my school, such as, BrainPop, Explain Everything, Powerschool, Book Creator, Evernote, Toontastic, amongst others.

As expected, each ADE will be developing a project, due in a couple of months, that will represent a tiny glimpse of one of the great things that we are already doing. More about this to come.

If you are not yet an Apple Distinguished Educator, I encourage you to visit the ADE website, and be in the lookout for the announcement that applications have opened for for the next class. Believe me, it is a unique opportunity to become part of the best professional learning community you will ever be in.

Stay tuned, in the coming blog posts, I'll be sharing specifics of what I learned from the workshops I attended.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Reflecting on ISTE 2013

My tech colleagues and I came back from an intense week of learning and sharing. I'm talking about the ISTE 2013 Conference. I haven't been able to attend these conferences every year, but rather when they are hosted in San Antonio, TX, which is just a 6 hour drive away from home. Perhaps that's the reason why I am more than amazed by everything I saw!


To me there are five main areas to explore at the conference. They are: The workshops and concurrent sessions, the playgrounds and posters, the keynotes, the exhibit hall, and the professional learning network. You can't miss anything!

From what I saw, my feeling of what are the hot topics today is:

  • Problem-based learning
  • Augmented reality
  • Gamification (huge!)
  • Mobile devices
  • QR Codes
  • e-Portfolios
  • Integrating the arts
  • Collaboration
  • Professional development
  • Google Apps
  • Professional learning network
  • Create vs. Consume

  • Flipping the classroom

What's new?
  • This is the first time I attend a conference that includes a Conference Welcome and Opening Ignite Session. This is going to be a must for all other conferences I attend. It really set the tone and provided an overview of what to expect at the conference.
  • ISTE13 introduced an Interactive app. This is great! I didn't need to carry the heavy program book (which has 200 pages). Besides, there was a game to play, a section for various social networking options, a QR code scanner, a message board for attendees, my planner, conference updates, and important information.
  • Attendees got to witness the unveiling of the new ISTE logo! That was exciting! This is what the new logo looks like.
Moby and me.
The opportunity to develop or strengthen your PLN is invaluable! In fact, I increased my Twitter contacts with awesome people. I have tons of notes to complete and organize yet, but am really happy I was able to attend and see first hand what technology in education is all about!

If you have an extra hour or so, I invite you to see the outstanding and inspiring closing keynote by Adam Bellow: "You're invited to change the world."