Random thoughts about the 2014 Illinois Computing Educators Conference (before they seep from my brain)....
1. George Couros and Mike Muir were the perfect one-two punch as keynotes. Witty, inspirational, humorous presentations by both! Catch recordings of keynote and other sessions here: http://www.youtube.com/user/iceil/videos
2. Very grateful to spend time with Mike, tapping his brain about all things ed tech and Maine. Once again, I'm reminded that Maine's experiences with 1 to 1 should really be examined by all school districts in this day and age. I'm really looking forward to diving into Mike's materials on various sites as I contemplate some of the projects I'm working on.
3. All of our featured speakers were fabulous... thank you, Rich Colosi, Carolyn Skibba, Jason Markey, Teri Olson Rossman, Greg Tang, Tammy Worcester Tang, and Luis Perez. Also, huge thanks to BYOC speakers including Steve Dembo... always a hit with attendees.
4. I think it was very interesting to have someone featured at ICE that was a content expert first and foremost (Greg Tang). We should try and get similar people next year. Can't wait to try out his app and games with my fifth grader. http://gregtangmath.com/
5. Tammy Lind's spirit was particularly infectious. She gets the term I coin professional generosity. She did a lovely job of keeping things simple and clear, yet informative, for her audiences. Loved how as I trudged to my car after the closing ceremonies, she was sitting in the hotel lounge with a circle of attendees around her, still sharing ideas. Everyone else was long gone and they were all still drinking it up.
6. Jason Markey also impressed me with his youthful energy. I think he sleeps less than I do and is remarkably perky. No wonder he's a principal! Also, loved seeing his kids in action during one of his sessions.
7. Happy to see former colleagues and my current coaching friends from Falconer and D230 get excited about various things at the conference. Next year, all of these people should take the plunge and present at ICE! It's time!
8. Also in the friend department, I'm grateful for another ADE get together at ICE. Just love my original PLC people.
9. Next year, we need to have a Fitbit contest and find out logs the most miles. I think I made my goal every day walking all over Pheasant Run. My trainer will be happy.
10. The newly configured exhibit hall was such a hit! The PLN Plaza was the hub of activity and the presentation stage featured a variety of presentations. Kudos to Jennifer Misong Magiera and assorted others who made much of that happen.
11. The Wednesday evening reception in the exhibit hall plus the morning breakfasts held in the same area really drew people. The exhibit hall seemed to come alive this year.
12. Wish I had had more time to partake in EdCamp After Dark. I think it was a huge success, judging from the turnout and notes. Loved how this was free and open to anyone who was around Wednesday night.
13. A HUGE thank you goes out to my fellow ICE conference committee members. It was a joy seeing everyone spring into action with their various conference duties. I'm continually inspired by the quality of my committee colleagues' work and have particularly enjoyed working with all of you this year.
Executive Director Margaret Johnson is the ICE-ing (pun intended) on the cake... I think her leadership makes us all want to go above and beyond the call to make the ICE conference a great experience for attendees.
14. Thank you again to the ICE people involved with my selection this year for the Making IT Happen award. I was pleasantly stunned when Charlene Chausis informed me of this award in January and I think this is the first time I've been honored by colleagues for my work in advocating for educational technology. There is nothing like being pointed out for doing good when you are least expecting it and I deeply appreciate the recognition. I stand on the shoulders of giants who've come before me throughout my involvement with ICE... more on this later.
15. Finally, we have a great thing going here in Illinois. So many talented, innovative educators and more catching fire with every conference. Can't wait to see how ICE can push the envelope further in terms of empowering teachers in the years to come!
Hope everyone got home safe and sound! See you next year!