Teachability: Connect to Learn

Recently I was asked by Teachability.com to blog about the ICE Conference.  Below is my post.

During the final week of February Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) held their annual educational technology conference. This year the conference saw record numbers with 3,400 educators through the doors over the course of 4 days.  The theme was “Connect to Learn”.  The conference offered numerous ways to achieve this.  Learning came in many forms:  full day workshops, half day workshops, 45 minute breakout sessions, poster sessions, a PLN Plaza, social gatherings, an after-dark edCamp, in lines for food, eating in the atrium or simply sitting next to someone in a session and introducing yourself while sharing a story or two about yourself, your school, your students. Although the focus of this conference is technology it goes beyond that- it’s about sharing your passion and your knowledge, willingly.  Presenters weren’t limited to “experts” in the field and included classroom teachers, coaches, pre-service teachers sharing artifacts involving technology in their coursework and even elementary school students.  Everyone contributed, everyone walked away with something.  One keynote presenter, George Couros, said something that has resonated with me:  “Isolation is now a choice educators make.” With technology we have endless ways to seek the support of those in the same profession as ourselves, oftentimes with the same issues.  As role models we need to strive to show our students that we don’t know the answer to everything and that even as adults we continue to learn and to reach out and ask questions when we need help.  We need to connect…to learn.  To view materials that have been generously shared by the presenters of the ICE Conference please visit http://www.icewiki.info.


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