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Innovative Teaching and Technology Summit

Picture 1 Today, I spent the day learning from and with teachers from the Escambia County, Florida school district during their first Innovative Teaching and Technology Summit (ITTS).  The day's workshop sessions revolved around interesting and practical tips for using technology in the classroom. 

In the opening session, Kate Kemker, Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Instruction and Innovation, shared information on a program going on across the state today.  The Florida Student Voices Program is designed as a way for students to share their thoughts about learning through podcasting.  In locations from Pensacola to Tampa, teachers and students came together to share why they think "Learning is Cool."

Dr. Larry Anderson, the luncheon keynote speaker, gave teachers a talk on how learning networks can bring together learners from all over the world. His concluding remarks touched on how it only takes one person committed to change and willing to recruit others to transform the world.  To make his point, he built an activity around the video "Free Hugs" that had teachers out of their seats and smiling!

Concurrent sessions were varied and covered topics such as Technology in Music, Personal Learning Networks, and Geocaching.  One session I was very interested in covered how teachers are using Second Life as a professional development tool. I discovered that while Second Life may look like all fun and games, there are regular workshops and lecture sessions from speakers that all happen in the virtual world. You can learn more about the ideas that Lori Weedo and Lauren Thurman shared by visiting their blog "Second Life Educators of Escambia County."  In addition, you can see notes and slides from my presentations on Digital Storytelling, Meeting Learner Needs, and Learning Networks here

All in all, it was a great day of learning that left me with lots of great ideas!  The best part of the day was being able to meet with so many innovative educators who were willing to share their best ideas with others.

Have you been to a great workshop recently or gotten a new idea from a colleague? Share something you've learned today!

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