Conference Dates: December 6th - 9th, 2008
Conference Location: Minneapolis Hyatt (1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55403)
Conference Website: http://tchlrn.ties.k12.mn.us/ties2008/main/details.asp
Conference Wiki: https://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us
Target Audience: technology staff, media staff, teachers, and administrators
Conference Overview: "The Midwest's largest education technology conference. Join 2,000 educators, administrators and technology specialists and over 100 vendors to explore the latest developments and best practices preparing students for a technology-driven future."

Participants | Session Reviews | Resources | Potential for Mahtomedi | Comments/Suggestions


Chris Carlson - Peer Coach
Patrick Crothers - District Technology Integration Specialist
Russ Fraenkel - Director of Community Education
Ann Galbus - Media Specialist, O.H. Anderson Elementary
Mary George - Community Education Manager
Deb Kaczorek - District Technology Integration Specialist
Tonya Kostuch - District Technology Specialist
Jean Oswald - Media Specialist, Wildwood Elementary
Alisa Phelps - Peer Coach
Edie Schmidt - First Grade Teacher, Wildwood Elementary
Roberta Smith - Media Specialist, Mahtomedi Middle School
Dr. Mark Wolak - Superintendent


Post descriptions of the sessions you attended as well as links and other resources that may have been shared

A Whole New Mind
Daniel H. Pink, Opening Keynote
Session Resources: http://www.danpink.com (currently blocked 12/11/2008)
- Heard this last year but really enjoyed it a second time. It reinforced my belief in using the creative process in the engineering program. mary george
- Typically I do not make it to the conference in time to listen to the keynote, but was extremely happy I was there this year. I thought his keynote was entertaining and, even though it wasn't specifically about educational technology, it did put me in a good frame of mind for the conference. For the first time I actually purchased a keynote speaker's book and I'm looking forward to reading it over break. PC

50 Sites in 50 Minutes
Mark Garrison, Technology Integration Specialist (Minnetonka Public Schools)
Session Resources: http://garrisonsites.blogspot.com (currently blocked 12/11/2008)
- This is a great list of sites that I look forward to processing and coming up with ideas for staff. If anyone is interested in doing this with me, let me know. PC

Powerful Web 2.0 Tools for School Administrators
Bradford Burns, Principal (Pembina Trails School Division)
Session Resources: http://principalburns.pbwiki.com/FrontPage
- I accidently ended up in this session, but found it interesting. The principal who presented was from Canada. They are using many Web 2.0 tools school-wide such as a Wiki for staff communication, online sign-up for parent-teacher conferences, Slideshare to get/share PPT presentation, etc. Ann Galbus
- I attended this session mainly looking for ideas about how our administrators can better be utilizing technology. We seem to put 99.9% of our time into training staff, but rarely get the opportunity to train admins. We also hardly ever get our admins to voluntarily attend technology trainings. Both of these are things I believe have to change and I was hoping to get some ideas from Bradford. His wiki contains all of the information from his presentation and includes examples. One idea for the schools that I really liked was transferring the student handbooks from paper to a wiki. Much easier to update and maintain. He also shared some good ideas for using survey tools (like SurveyMonkey) to track student behavior. PC

A New Approach to Teaching and Enforcing Copyright Compliance
Doug Johnson, Director of Media and Technology (Mankato Area Schools)
Session Resources: http://dougjohnson.wikispaces.com/NUTS
- I attended this session mainly because Jean had seen it before and has referenced it quite often. It seemed to make quite an impact on her views. For the past few years copyright has been an especially hot topic with the tech team. We've been searching for someone or something that would, in a straight-forward way, lay out exactly what teachers could or could not do. For good reason, we have not really been able to find too much... it doesn't exist. Doug's philosophy is quite simple. Too often we concentrate on only the minimum of what copyright truly allows us to use and that there is much more we should be utilizing. He also put a lot of emphasis on teaching both students and staff about Creative Commons and then utilizing it. If you are not familiar with CC, basically it falls between work that is public domain and copyrighted. When establishing CC the creator decides specifically how their work can be used. PC

Introduction to Videoconferencing and Internet2
Heather Wells (TIES) and Bev Mattocks (CILC)
Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration website http://www.cilc.org
LearnTech website http://learntech.ties.k12.mn.us/Video_Conferencing.html
- This session offered several resources for people interested in video conferencing and internet2. The best part of the session was the call to the International Wolf Center. Adriane, one of their Program Specialists, gave a brief overview of their program and explained how they utilize video conferencing. She is very knowledgeable of their program obviously, but also really does a nice job modeling how rich a video conference can be. Her animation and expressions make the session extremely entertaining. You also get to see the wolves up close and in their habitat. While the classroom sessions are about $120 for up to 40 students, the demo she did is free. This would be an excellent way to present a video conference to a group of staff to pull them on board. PC

Scratch Resources
Karen Randall, Expo Elementary School, St. Paul
Scratch is free software created by MIT to make programming accessible to children. It is made for children ages 8-15+. Ann and I have been working to incorporate this into the Media curriculum at Mahtomedi for higher level thinking skills but also to support the engineering program. -JO
Ideas and script examples for simple projects, used by students teaching in the Scratch lab today: external image msword.png script ideas.doc

Digital Backpack: Killer Online Apps for Education
Carl Anderson, Technology Integration Specialist (Goodhue Public Schools)
Session Resources: http://www.goodhue.k12.mn.us/school242/genie224/images/files/backpack2008j.html
- The web 2.0 materials offered at this session by Carl are pretty amazing. For his staff in Goodhue he has created a "digital backback" that contains links to all sorts of free sites that offer dynamic tools for educators. Everything from online versions of PhotoShop that look and feel like the real thing, to online word processing sites, and sites you can use to create animated cartoons... again, all for free! This is another site I would like to sort through in a small group if anyone is interested. PC

Web 2.0 Social Networking Tools and Resources for Educators
Brent Bovitz, Nate Gabel, and Vic Pengilly (Eden Prairie Public Schools)
Session Resources: http://delicious.com/WEB24U
- By the time I sat down in this session I was pretty web 2.0'd out. Deb warned me that I would get there, but there really weren't any other sessions that grabbed my attention. Basically it was like the 50 Sites in 50 Minutes session and the Digital Backpack sessions. Their Delicious site includes another long list of web 2.0 tools. PC

Using Digital Storytelling in the Science Classroom
Cari Jo Kiffmeyer, Wayzata Public Schools
Session Resources: http://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us/009

Using ThinkQuest to Teach and Collaborate Around the Globe
Michelle Ament, Diamond Path School of Intl Studies

Using Digital Content for Differentiated Instruction and 21st Century Skill Development//
  • Joe Voors, netTrekker d.i.

Technology and Outdoor Science Explorations
Cathy Kindem, Cedar Park STEM Elementary\

catchin^W hi tek kdz: Minnetonka’s Ongoing Student and Parent Internet Safety Programs
Dave Eisenmann, (Technology Integration Specialist, Minnetonka Schools)
Minnetonka has a good program for talking to parents and especially students about the need to be safe on the internet. They have pulled many resources together and are willing to share them with other districts. They are also looking at embedding the internet safety curriculum into other parts of the curriculum i.e. discussing online pornography impact within the health curriculum. They want to have the plan in place because district e-rate funding is depedent on creating a plan. The do not have as many age-appropriate resources to use with the K-5 population and I was hoping that they would have some new ones to share in addition the what I am already using at OH.

Ann Galbus

Blog On! Social Networking in an Elementary Classroom
Jay Monson, Grade 5 Teacher, Nettleton Elementary School-Duluth, MN
Looked at using blogs and wikis in an elementary setting with language arts projects. Discussed safety issues, time it takes to manage from a teacher standpoint, and the powerful impact on student learning and being able to share their own written work world-wide. Also highly recommended using Delicious as another great Web 2.0 tool for keeping track of websites and sharing them with other people.
Ann Galbus

Voicethread: A Picture Has Many Words
Chris Heitman, Goodhue Public Schools
Although there were technical difficulties in this session, it provided an enthusiastic reminder of how powerful Voicethread can be in fostering digital literacy with our K-12 students. I'm hoping this technology can be incorporated into our literacy curriculum as we are in the process of reviewing it this year. The link below provides elementary school examples of Voicethread. - JO

Using SMART Notebook to Organize and Create Lessons
Dawn Fedora, Eden Prairie Schools
Session description: Come learn how to create a math lesson that incorporates web sites, online videos, PDFs, interactive activities and textbook pages using SMART Board Notebook. We’ll also explore how to save and share lessons with coworkers and how to share the lessons with parents. Edie Schmidt went to this session. The Notebook lesson may be informative to share with PLCs, especially since math is part of the Q-Comp goal this year. - JO


List resources from the conference that you may have gathered including links and handouts that may not have been directly associated with any one particular session, product information, vendor information, etc.
If you haven't already seen it, check out SMART's new SMART Table. A few of us saw the prototype at NECC last summer and it's pretty cool. RIght now it is pretty limited to what it can do (at the time it didn't even run Notebook), but is pretty exciting to think about the direction the technology is headed. PC
SMART Table website: http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Table/default.htm
SMART Table video: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=db848fdbe9c6649502f3


Have an idea of how a product, website, concept, philosophy, etc. could be utilized in our school district? Share it here!
Video conferencing idea for high school Language Arts or Journalism: connect to local news stations in the metro via video conferencing, have the students write and present news stories directly to the station's newscasters, and have the newscasters give feedback to the students. PC

Creative Commons: Make this a part of Art classes, especially the ones that are concentrating on digital creations. Then, after a student creates a work of art, he/she can go to the Creative Commons website and register it. This will lead to students being more thoughtful of how they are using the works of others.

Web 2.0 - I see many applications for the web 2.0 products for our students. As digital literacy becomes more and more integrated into the curriculum, I am excited for the potential for students to be "prosumers" vs. just "consumers". A big question is security. For example, are we prepared for students to do social network sharing using resources such as Facebook? Can we have an inhouse Mahtomedi Facebook-type resource that is secure on our network? What kind of cost and training does this entail? - JO

I am pleased that we consistently have a team from Mahtomedi looking for new ideas and adoptions. Thanks for attending and bringing these great adoptions back to our schools. Technology will definitely drive our overall transformation into the future. mark


Share any general comments you may have about the conference or suggestions you have//
Kudos to TIES. Personally this was the best TIES Conference I have attended since being at Mahtomedi. I thought all of the sessions I attended gave me valuable information to bring back to the district, and, even more importantly, got me excited about new things we could and should be doing. Thank you also to everyone that attended this year. By far this was the largest group we have had attend. I hope in the future this number continues to grow and buildings make an effort to send more teachers. PC