Like Lois I attended the BYTE Conference in Portage La Prairie. My highlight....... seeing my Maid of Honor from my wedding at the conference, there is nothing like seeing old friends!!!!! But on a techie note, my ah ha moment/idea was listening to how teachers pin point 4 or 5 specific goals from a child's IEP, choose 5 or 6 specific apps to target only those goals, and share the ipad among funded students to meet these IEP goals. (We could make a good/working plan with the ideas I learned there).
Like Lois, I attended 4 different sessions.
Session 1: My school got an Ipad, now what?
I had great hopes for this session. I thought it would address the issues of sharing the ipads, apple id's, using only a few ipads with many students....... all the things we are struggling with. Unfortunately, it addressed none of those. In my opinion it was advertised wrong. It was a GREAT session for resource/speech people. It walked us through 8 student's Ipad plans and the the apps targeted to meet their IEP goals. It previewed some awesome apps and gave me my ah ha moments, but it was not what I was expecting. I have tons of great apps to share from this session, mostly geared at primary or special needs students, many are pricey but come highly recommended. I'll attempt to post the list at another time or on my teacher blog.
Session 2: Digital Art resources for the classroom
This session was alright if you are not familiar with some of the great online art resources or if you are not familiar with wikis. Unfortunately for me, I am extremely familiar with both. I did get a link for an art wiki created by PCI's art teacher. Her hope is to create a Made in Manitoba sharing site for great art ideas and a gallery of student work. Here is that wiki link: Art Wiki Feel free to check it out as it is a public wiki. I did "wow" the instructor a bit with my art wiki page and she is going to link my page to her wiki, so that was a bit of a bucket filling moment for me!!!!!
Session 3: Apps For Special Needs
This session was GREAT! The presenter worked for the Open Access Resource Center in Winnipeg. She had come LOADED with a presentation full of apps and accessories to help special needs children, particularly those with Autism. I have previewed some of the accessories and links to the accessories, particularly the cases on my own blog . I also linked to a great video using the app proloquo2go. Many of the apps from this session were tried and true apps, some are quite pricey, but I walked away with more than one good idea.
Session 4: Apps for my iclassroom
This session was jam packed with practical apps for the regular classroom. Leslie Dent Scarcello was the presenter and many of her students helped her give her presentation by reviewing the apps for us by using vimeo (videos made and posted with a flip camera). The link to her blog is here. She has tons of great apps perfect for many grade 1-6 classrooms, you can view her vimeos and see for yourself. She also provided links to some of the bloggers she follows for great ipad ideas and inspiration!
And with that our day in Portage La Prairie came to an end. We did not win the amazing door prizes, but we left inspired and ready to SHOP! lol! Our 45 minute drive back to Winnipeg was pd in itself as we all shared the highs and lows of our sessions, and then late into the evening (after indulging in the luxuries the city provides) we shared our own Ipad apps, learned about icloud and imessaging, and brainstormed future tech projects for our classrooms.
We are already anticipating next year's BYTE conference in Neepawa!