I've attended several of the annual student conferences that Jim Moulton has organized. It is an extremely powerful experience. If you haven't attended, you certainly should. Better yet, submit an idea for a presentation, either by yourself - or even better yet - along with your students.
Here is Jim's Call to Action:
I am writing today to encourage teachers and technical staff from across the state of Maine to submit an idea for a session to present at the 6th annual MLTI Student Tech Team Conference, to be held on Friday, May 29, 2009 @ UMaine in Orono. Please consider being part of this year's conference, and write to let me know that you are interested in joining us as a presenter! No details needed or expected at this point, just an idea of a topic you think would make for a good session. I will hound you for the focus later!
The conference will be sponsored by Apple, and the MLTI will be partnering with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and ACTEM, the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine .
The focus this year is once again STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a clear understanding of the critical role played by the Arts & Humanities in supporting deep understanding of those areas.
A) Sessions are one hour in length, and might be repeated depending on interest.
B) OK, so registration is not a lot per person, but it is, of course, waived for presenters (How kind of us, eh?)
B1) But - registration will include lunch this year! So yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch.
C) We are looking for both student-involved as well as non-student-involved sessions
This year we are going to continue what we started last year, in that we are going to try hard to fill the thirty Block 1 sessions (9:30 - 10:30) with primarily teacher & student team presentations - we want kids to have a chance to show the MLTI stuff they are doing both inside the classroom and out. Block 2's thirty sessions (11:00 - 12:00) will not be limited to student involved presentations.
And we are planning something special for Block 3 - a very cool and empowering "Super Session" with all participants involved! Not only will it be a great session, it will assure everyone is back in the brand new Hutchins Concert Hall for the door prizes and closing!
Here is a link to the conference clearinghouse page, where you can visit archives of past conferences to get an idea of how this has worked, as well as watch the current effort unfold:
Last year broke all expectations with over 640 folks in attendance, so we need all hands on deck, and are starting the recruitment early! Target for participation this year is 800.
The focus is on hands-on, engaging uses of the technology with real-world, real-learning, real-teaching purposes. We want to connect people to people and not simply people to technology, and have everyone leaving this day more powerful than when they arrived.
Specifically, we are looking for sessions that will have folks leaving saying things like this:
"Wow - that was cool! I learned how to do some great stuff."
"The kids loved it. And I learned a trick or two as well. I wonder if we could..."
"I never knew I could do that... I'll have to play around with that."
"Hmmm... that looks like a college I could have some fun at."
"I guess I am pretty good at working with this computer."
"I hope I remember everything I learned!"
"Hey, let me show you something I learned in that last session."
"I hope they do this again next year!"
Thanks so much.
Jim Moulton, Educational Technology Consultant
Staff to the Maine Learning Technology Initiative
Faculty Associate of the George Lucas Educational Foundation