Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Rocking ISTE in Philly: 5 Game-Changing Tips (Including Self-Care!) @ISTEofficial #ISTE23 #ISTELive

I'm excited to be heading to ISTELive next week and to share some invaluable tips for conquering the ISTE conference in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia! Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned ISTE-goer, these strategies will help you make the most of this epic edtech extravaganza. So, let's dive in!

Plan Your Sessions Strategically:

ISTE is a cornucopia of sessions, workshops, and presentations. But let's face it, you can't attend them all. Take some time before the conference to explore the schedule and identify the sessions that align with your professional goals. Don't be afraid to try something new and step outside your comfort zone. Create a personalized schedule that strikes a balance between inspiring keynotes, hands-on workshops, and opportunities to network with like-minded educators. You will never feel like there is enough time and you have to be ok with a little FOMO if you want to have a good time. 

Pace Yourself and Network:

Philly cheesesteaks and the Liberty Bell aren't the only highlights of this conference. The real magic lies in the connections you make. Strike up conversations with fellow educators during breaks, meals, and social events. It's an incredible chance to expand your professional network, share ideas, and collaborate on future projects. Remember, it's not about collecting business cards but building meaningful relationships that last beyond the conference. Being an introvert can be tough at a conference, but as someone with strong introvert tendencies, I encourage you to engage other educators around you. Some of my closest friends are educators I said hello to at ISTE!

Embrace the Expo Hall:

The ISTE Expo Hall is like an edtech playground filled with innovative tools, cutting-edge tech, and game-changing resources. Make time to wander around and discover new tools that could transform your teaching. Engage with the exhibitors, ask questions, and try out demos. But remember, balance is key. It's easy to get lost in the mesmerizing displays, so be sure to allocate time wisely and prioritize the sessions and keynotes that resonate with your goals. I love jumping down for 30 minutes to an hour a couple of times a day to connect with companies I have used in the past and discover some new ones that friends have mentioned. Have a bag ready for all of the free swag!

Document and Share Your Experience:

You're about to embark on an edtech adventure that will leave you brimming with inspiration. Don't let that energy fade away after the conference ends. Take notes during sessions, snap photos of inspiring moments, and jot down ideas. After the event, leverage social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram to share your key takeaways. Engage in discussions, connect with other educators, and keep the momentum going. This way, you'll amplify the ISTE magic and inspire fellow educators who couldn't attend. #ISTELive #ISTE23 are a couple of hashtags you can use if you are going to share on social. I also recommend you use the tags to find fun things going on during the conference. 

Prioritize Self-Care:

Amidst the excitement and non-stop learning, it's easy to neglect self-care. But trust me, rejuvenating yourself is crucial for maximizing your ISTE experience. Remember to hydrate, take breaks, and fuel up with nutritious food. Schedule some downtime to explore Philly's vibrant cityscape, indulge in a good book, or simply rest and recharge. Give yourself permission to step away from the conference buzz when you need it, so you can return refreshed and ready to absorb more knowledge. This is one of the most important parts of any large gathering of people. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and I highly recommend that you make time for you so you do not fry out halfway through. 

Check the Weather!

It looks like rain during ISTE, so make sure you pack accordingly. I have already packed a poncho and I will have my umbrella ready just in case. It has been a while since we have had a rainy ISTE, so make sure you bring an extra set of shoes and socks in case yours get drenched while walking from the convention center to your hotel room or to places to eat.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget the Power of Reflection!

In the midst of all the sessions and networking, take a few moments each day to reflect on what you've learned. Whether it's jotting down a quick reflection in a notebook or recording a voice memo on your phone, capturing your thoughts will help solidify your takeaways. Plus, it'll be an invaluable resource for later when you're implementing new ideas in your classroom.

So, there you have it, my edtech friends! These tips will set you up for success at ISTE in Philly. Remember, it's not just about the incredible sessions and cutting-edge tech, but also about the connections you make and the impact you create. Embrace the experience, stay open-minded, and let your passion for education shine through. See you at ISTE – it's going to be epic!

Hugs and High Fives!

Nicholas Provenzano

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Enhancing ELA Skills with Adobe Express #AdobeEduCreative @RebeccaLouHare

I want to share some exciting ways you can incorporate Adobe Express into your English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. This user-friendly digital tool offers a wealth of creative possibilities to engage middle and high school students, while also aligning with the ELA Common Core Standards. So, let's dive in and explore three practical examples of lessons that will engage your students.

1. Visual Storytelling with Adobe Express

With Adobe Express, your students can become master storytellers by creating captivating visual narratives. Start by having them select a thought-provoking image or photograph and then craft a short story around it. They can use the app's features to enhance the image, add text, and apply filters to evoke emotions. By integrating descriptive language and literary techniques, such as character development, setting, and plot, students will not only develop their narrative writing skills (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3), but also engage in critical thinking and analysis (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). Using the stock images found in Express can help cut down on the searching on the web for photos that are exactly what the students need. This can be done as a long form assignment or a class starter. 

2. Literary Analysis Infographics

Incorporating visual representations into literary analysis can deepen students' understanding and enable them to showcase their insights in a creative way. Ask your students to select a significant literary work, such as a novel or play, and have them identify key themes, symbols, and character arcs. Using Adobe Express, they can create visually appealing infographics that present their analysis, incorporating images, text boxes, and charts. This activity not only addresses the ELA Common Core Standards for writing informative/explanatory texts (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2), but also encourages students to engage with complex texts (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1) and demonstrate their comprehension through multiple modes (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7). There are so many examples of infographics that you can share with students that can help guide their creation. Here is one example that you can share with your students. 

3. Digital Book Reviews

Encourage your students to embrace their inner bookworms by creating captivating digital book reviews using Adobe Express. After reading a novel, short story, or poem, students can craft multimedia reviews that combine their written reflections with visual elements. They can include book covers, relevant images, and even audio or video clips to enhance their reviews. This activity addresses multiple ELA Common Core Standards, such as writing arguments to support claims (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1), presenting information effectively (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4), and integrating multimedia components into presentations (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5). They can even create a website that would hold multiple items they create over the course of the year. It could act as a reading portfolio where they share what they have read and what they recommend. As a teacher, you can check the website throughout the year to see what their reading and other students can check the websites for book suggestions. 

By integrating Adobe Express into your ELA classroom, you'll not only tap into your students' creativity but also provide them with practical opportunities to develop and apply essential English language arts skills. Remember to adapt these lesson ideas to suit your students' grade level and interests, and don't be afraid to explore other possibilities that Adobe Express has to offer. There are so many other ways to incorporate Adobe Express in the classroom. Check out the #AdobeEduCreative tag on Twitter and Instagram to see some great examples and use it to tag your work when you share it. 

Hugs and High Fives, 

The Nerdy Teacher