Source: DigitalJLearning Network
This summer, the DigitalJLearning Network had the pleasure of taking 15 Jewish Day School educators to the 2015 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, PA. We asked the participants to share what they learned and how the conference inspired them to take action in their schools. Gerald Lazar, Director of Student Life at Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto, shares his thoughts in the third installment in this new blog series.
ISTE is an experience that is difficult to describe to someone who hasn't been there. It is large, overwhelming and intense. Ultimately, it's an amazing learning and professional development opportunity. It impacts thousands of teachers and administrators yearly - all of whom return to their schools, influencing their colleagues and, of course, their students.
I left ISTE with a lot of ideas. Firstly, it made it clear to me that we had to move to 1:1 in my school. The decision was already made to mandate our grade 9 students to bring laptops with them to school. When those grade 9s are in grade 12, the entire school will be using laptops. A number of sessions I attended focused on staff training and the basics of going to a 1:1 system. It is important for staff to understand that they are taking risks and may make mistakes - and that is ok. One of the presenters spoke about the current generation of teachers being pioneers in education; teachers are changing systems today that have been in place for decades, perhaps centuries. The new systems are going to take time to be developed and refined. That's just the way it is. Technology is certainly not going away and our students are best set up to succeed in the workforce by integrating technology into their education. Learning how to use the latest and most current programs, creating a culture that keeps up with current trends, ensures our students will remain competitive in their fields.
This is just a sampling of the plethora of ideas with which I left Philadelphia. I have so many new resources, learned how to use many apps,and had my eyes opened to ways to integrate technology reasonably in an educationally valuable manner. I have ideas that will support our 1:1 integration, as well as our shift in staff training and mentality. My classes will be positively affected - and the implications run beyond my departments and into Judaic Studies classes. These ideas and resources came not only from sessions I attended, but from the evening conversations we had with other DJLN-sponsored attendees.
Thank you to DJLN for supporting my learning and my students' education.
Read the entire post at the DigitalJLearning Network blog.