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Sample Schedule (from last year)

- Note that this year, there will be two 3-hour workshops offered on Day 2 and one the morning of Day 3. Day 3 will end at 1:00 p.m.

The registration cost for Connex13 will be $299.

The Connections Conference 2012
A Professional Development Extravaganza

The Connections Conference is a three-day hands-on experience for teachers, administrators, technology staff and anyone interested in being part of sharing and learning.

Click Here to fill out the conference evaluation:

Register Here: theconnectionsconference.eventbrite.com

Registration Fee: $299


June 18-20, 2012


Sidwell Friends School
3825 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

Suggested Accommodations:

The Bethesda Court Hotel
Double Tree Hotel Bethesda
Hyatt Regency Bethesda

For More Information:

Karen Montgomery
Email: karenmontgomery@educollaborators.com
Twitter: @klmontgomery
Twitter Hashtag: #connex12


Throughout the conference:

Pervasive Development of Professional Learning Networks: Visit the PLN Gallery! Learn how to develop your learning through Facebook, Twitter, Flipbook, Google Currents, LinkedIn, Tweetdeck and more! Participate in a live TweetChat!

Film on the Fly! Compete for prizes by creating your own film while at the conference. Training and support provided throughout the conference. At the beginning of the conference we will announce the theme for the films. Make a film and upload it to the conference YouTube Channel!

Trip to the National Mall: Group outing to Metro downtown to see the monuments and historic buildings. Perfect for creating your film!

Day by Day Conference Schedule

Day 1

8:15 Registration begins, light refreshments - you can register anytime until 9:45 a.m.

8:15-10: PLN gallery, sign-up for trips downtown, begin your "Film on the Fly", add to the Connections Wall

10-11 Kick off Session in the Robert L. Smith Meeting Room

11:15 Session 1

12:15 Lunch in US Library -- PLN Gallery, Connections Wall, etc.

1:30 Session 2

2:45 Session 3

4pm Optional Live Tweetup, Downtown visits, get going on your film, etc

Ideas for Drinks and Food near Sidwell: http://goo.gl/maps/7a4A (The map is in your packet).

Day 2– 9:00 am - 4 pm (lunch included)

Choose one of the four Full-Day Workshops (below)

4:00 PLN Gallery open, Downtown visits, etc.

Day 3 – 9:00 am - 4 pm (lunch included)

Choose one of the four Full-Day Workshops (below)

4:00 Brief closing session in the Robert L. Smith Meeting Room - Film in the Fly winners announced!

Monday Sessions

Session 1 Monday 11:15-12:15

A. Elizabeth Helfant: Meaningful Homework: Flipping, Interactive, Autograded
What is meaningful homework? Learn what research and current statistics says about homework before examining ways in which technology can transform it. We will look at tools to make homework interactive and autograded. We will look at tools to facilitate flipping the homework process. We will examine tools to gamify homework.
Room 102

B. Denise Coffin: Let Pedagogy Lead, iPads Follow
Classroom sets of iPads are showing up everywhere, even in schools that never considered 1 to 1 a possibility. But the iPads don't do the teaching, and we need to be clear about the pedagogy we are trying to address when we introduce technology into our curriculum. We will discuss the planning process, professional development, and guidelines for evaluation and reflection that will assure that the pedagogy and curriculum are driving the iPad program, and not the other way around.
Room- Old Quaker Meeting Room

C. Jake Clapp: Evernote and Google Apps for Beginners
In this session you will learn about how Evernote can be used to organize notes, files, and web content across multiple devices, and how Google Apps can be used to collaborate in and outside of the classroom.
Room 104/106

D. Alex Inman: Any Resource, Any Time, on EVERY device: Combing Public and Private Clouds
As schools bring in more and more resources from the Cloud and student bring more and more devices into school, bringing it all together presents a challenge. This session will demonstrate a resource being used next year at Sidwell Friends to tie together passwords and allow school resources to be used on any device; laptop, tablet or phone!
Room- Library Lab

Session 2 Monday 1:30-2:30

A. Elizabeth Helfant:Technology and Engagement Techniques
Brain science tells us we need to increase engagement and allow students time for closure to move content to long term memory. This session will explore strategies to promote engagement and closure with the help of a number of free and easy to use technology tools. We will examine tools like Naiku, Socrative, and CoboCards among others.
Room 102

B. Eve Eaton and Jenni Voorhees: Haiku for Classroom Communication
Sidwell has just adopted Haiku as the all-school online communication tool. Come learn and discuss how to set up communication with parents for younger children, and students for older children. Begin to envision the many opportunities for sharing classroom news, events, photos, and projects.
Room - Library Lab

C. Kimberly Clarkson: Using Khan Academy and Google Apps for Education to Support Independent Explorations in Math Class
Inspired by Sal Khan’s address at the 2011 National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, a six-week unit was developed to allow students to become proficient in content in the 6th Grade Mathematics curriculum, while also exploring a topic of individual interest. This workshop will explore how the self-paced unit has evolved over two years, as well as planned future refinements. It is recommended, but not required, that participants bring a device with internet access.
Room 104/106

D. Pam Hepp: Experimenting with Venier Probes
Come experiment with different Venier lab probes. Practice assembling and using different Venier lab probes. Try them for the first time or share ideas with others who have used them before. Play with lab Quest, Logger Pro, Logger Lite, the Go links and many probes including temperature, pH, conductivity, colorimeters, spectroVis and a few more. Become acquainted with a dynamic way to collect and analyze data.
Room 238 (Second Floor)

Session 3 Monday 2:45-3:45

A. Elizabeth Helfant: Creating eBooks, Podcasts, Videos and Screencasts to Support Instruction
In redesigning curriculum, the use of textbooks has diminishedin favor of multimedia content that is often teacher created. This session will examine how we create eBooks, podcasts, screencasts and short video segments to enhance and differentiate instruction. A number of applications will be examined including MoGlue, Pages, and Sophia. If time permits, we will also examine how the same process can be used for student projects.
Room 102

B. Jenni Voorhees and Angela Smith: Integrating Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy in the Classroom
With ubiquitous computing, and ads, movies, TV shows creating messages in every aspect of our lives, all the adults who work with children share the responsibility of noting, responding to, and helping children make sense of their online interactions, and the messages that bombard them. We will discuss ways we can integrate this critical topic into all our work with students, and gain some resources that will keep us abreast of issues.
Room - Library Lab

C. Jake Clapp: Social Bookmarking and More - making the most of Diigo
In this session you will see a series of demonstrations: how Diigo can be used by groups of students working together on a research project; how an entire class can mark, annotate, and share a web page; how you can organize your bookmarks in an easy-to-use application which works across all web browsers; and how you can embed linkrolls into your LMS. In the second half of the session participants will practice each of these functions.
Room: 104/106

D. Alex Inman: Technology Planning: From Vision to Data
This session will begin by discussing a time tested process of change management that clarifies the vision, builds consensus and develops assessments to create a data-driven solution. This vision and data provides the framework through which decisions can be made, professional development can be delivered and success can be measured. Come learn how data collection can actually lead to consensus building and change management.
Room: Library Board Room (downstairs)

Full-Day Workshops

Creative Collaboration with iPads

presented by Melissa Scott, Senior Collaborator and Lower School Technology Integrator at Flint Hill School, Oakton, VA

Building a classroom culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, and encourages students to take the lead in their learning can be a challenge. The iPad is a tool that helps teachers create the safe space where students can learn to take risks and fail gracefully, and eventually find success in ways that fire their imaginations. In this session, be prepared to drive your own learning as we explore the process of Guided Discovery of apps and discover creative uses to explore both teacher and student learning. We will discover and discuss opportunities for student and teacher collaboration using iPads. Come learn about and explore teacher tools that make it possible to build digital student portfolios and to easily share files between colleagues. Be prepared to connect, communicate, collaborate, and create!

Participants will be able to:
  • Lead a lesson using guided discovery
  • Create lessons that encourage collaboration among students, and let students be drivers of their own learning
  • Learn ways students and teachers can create and author using iPads
  • Gather techniques for teacher productivity and record-keeping, and digital portfolios in which students curate their own best work

It’s a Big, Mobile World: Mobile Technology in a Global Society

presented by Lucy Gray, Senior Collaborator and Coordinator of the Global Education Conference

With the advent of collaborative technologies, it is easier than ever to connect with classrooms around the world. In this session, technology coach Lucy Gray will lead discussions on essential global competencies for students and teachers as well as strategies for connecting to other educators. During this workshop, participants will learn about initiatives, project-based learning models, and specific tools that allow teachers to bring the world to their students.

Bring your mobile devices as well as ideas stemming from your classroom experiences that could be developed into collaborative projects. We will participate in a mini-project and will start networking with other educators around the world to plant the seeds for your future potential projects. Participants will also have time to start designing their own projects for the upcoming school year.

Participants will be able to:
  • understand the importance of connecting classrooms to others around the world
  • discover and explore existing classroom projects in which they may participate
  • identify criteria for creating authentic, meaningful projects
  • develop strategies for planning and executing their own projects
  • identify digital tools that will assist them in globalizing their classrooms

Blended Learning at its Best: Creative, Constructivist, Continuous

presented by Jake Clapp, Academic Dean, Global Online Academy

Looking for the best model for bringing together the flexibility and innovation offered by a blended learning approach with the strengths of your current curriculum? Wondering how blended learning fits at your grade level (K-12)? This hands-on workshop will give participants time, space, and guidance as they reimagine a lesson plan, field test online teaching and learning resources, or develop new ideas on how blended approaches can help teachers make more effective use of class time. Using the tools of blended learning, this workshop will provide a structured environment for teachers to experiment with constructivist approaches to curriculum design (In short, this approach emphasizes construction of knowledge by the student through real-world problem solving, experimentation, and reflection).

Participants will be able to:

  • Help your students become more independent learners
  • Foster curiosity through adaptable and dynamic lesson planning
  • Work more effectively in classrooms with a wide range of student aptitudes
  • Build a more collaborative classroom
  • Digitally archive your classroom materials
  • Expand the realm of your instructional content.

This Is Your Brain on Learning: Any Questions? Connecting brain-based learning to pedagogy and content

presented by Elizabeth Helfant, Senior Collaborator, International speaker and Upper School Tech Integrator at Mary Institute Country Day School, St. Louis, MO

Ready to convert brain based learning from scholarship to practice? This session will pose questions, foster conversations, and develop strategies and tools for moving forward. Hands-on activities will lead teachers through designing brain compatible curricula. Participants will leave with the foundation of a technology and pedagogy toolkit that supports a brain friendly curriculum. In this workshop we will look at what emerging research says about how our students’ brains function and explore how to design curriculum that maximizes learning for each individual brain. We will work with the TPACK model - technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge, as a guide to designing differentiated learning experiences.

Participants will be able to:
  • Design and workshop a lesson using brain-based learning methods
  • Learn to use the TPACK model to plan and assess lessons
  • Review and evaluate skills/content, pedagogy, and technology in a way that is consistent with what we know about the brain and learning
  • Develop a technology and pedagogy toolkit to support a brain-friendly curriculum