Some might say that it wouldn’t be difficult to confuse me, and at times they’d be correct. Today is one of those times. I’m not confused, really, but my brain is beginning to grind gears as it tries to wrap itself around all the awesomeness of Day 1.
It’s good to see so many people actively engaged in conversations. The interactions between colleagues make a session and the moments following even more useful. You can see and hear the processing power of incredible teachers working to figure out how they’re going to apply what they’ve learned into next week’s lessons.
A big takeaway for me today is the discovery of MinecraftEdu. If you’re not familiar with Minecraft, think electronic Legos. It’s sometimes referred to as a “sandbox” game. Players are put into a world and have the tools to literally build anything they can imagine. Not only does MinecraftEdu give you a good financial deal to run it on your server, it also provides some cool “teacher tools” to give you some control over your students when you need it.
Other takeaways include new web tools that would be easy to use in the classroom. WorkFlowy, Edcanvas, Small Demons and Meograph are all new to me. I’ll be ready to share those when I get back to the office.
How to be ready for Day 2?
So the 2013 conference is only 2 hours old and there are already higlights to share. I know people are having a great time already when I see the tears welling up in their eyes during the keynote.
The #macul13 hashtag is currently trending in the U.S., even ahead of the upcoming NCAA tournament. You know you’ve hit the big time when the feed starts filling up with SPAM. Here’s what you can do to report bad behavior. (Interesting, that as I write this, the first session is over and now the #macul13 has dropped because everyone is moving to the next session!)
Spark Sessions are short presentations being held in the MACUL Zone. Check out the schedule and consider sitting down for 20 minutes to listen to innovative strategies or classroom successes.
The Conference App is a new feature this year and admittedly there have been challenges in implementing it for over 4,000 users! Check our session schedules, maps of the exhibit hall, presenter information and more. Make sure you download out the app from the Google Play or iTunes stores.
Of course, the opening keynote with Kevin Honeycutt was awesome. He knows his audience well and plays up to them without effort. In addition to the keynote, several educators were recognized for their efforts to use technology for learning. Nick Provenzano, Melissa White, and Kris Young were all honored today.