Tuesday, March 1, 2016

NCCE 2016 - Feeling Inspired!!

Last week, February 24 through 26, was the Northwest Conference for Computer Education conference in Seattle, Washington. It was a wonderful, educational, interesting, inspiring, and fun fun fun experience!! It was held at the Washington State Convention Center....a huge two-building maze connected from one side of the street to the other by a skybridge that offered a spectacular view through the city all the way to the marketplace on the water.

The NCCE conference is held every year, alternating between Portland, Oregon and Seattle Washington. It's one of my favorite conferences, second only to the bigger ISTE National Educational Computing Conference--but I've only attended in Portland before this year because I live nearby. This year our district's Instructional Technology director, Forrest Fisher, gave members of the district technology committee to attend the conference in Seattle.

I attended several sessions, my favorite two on Wednesday: Absolutely Awesome Graphics; No Photoshop Needed! We learned how to edit graphics with Powerpoint. It did many things I wasn't aware it could do, like remove background from an image:
We also learned about many graphic editing websites, some I'd heard of before, and many I hadn't. One that I played with was Fun Photo Box, which allows you to either upload a photo or take a photo with your computer and insert it into different scenes. I took this photo of myself with my laptop, added the Photo Fun Box effects, and then emailed it to my 5th English Enrichment students who were with a substitute teacher. They loved it! I jokingly put the subject heading: I'm famous! and many of them believed my giant photo was really on a building in the city! I showed them how to do it when I returned to school on Monday. 

Another session I went to on Wednesday was about the CETL (Certified Educational Technology Leader) certification through CoSN (Consortium for School Networking). It's a program that combines technology, pedagogy, and leadership. I had never heard of it before, but it's something I'm very interested in pursuing!

My favorite event at the conference was the opening keynote speech by Kevin Honeycutt, a teacher/ed tech coach/speaker/futurist/comedian/musician!! To be honest,I don't usually like keynote speeches because I want to be doing something, and they are always long. In contrast to the typical keynote speech, Kevin Honeycutt told inspiring stories about himself and his students, spoke in a variety of accents, demonstrated an invention his students build and sell, the 'Godium, played his AWESOME steampunk electric guitar that he designed himself, and shared ways to motivate our students and help them actualize their dreams. He made me laugh, made me cry a bit, and inspired me to showcase my kids and their talents, and to inspire other teachers to do the same. 

Other highlights of the conference included the fun scavenger HUNT, finding codes and clues and posting #NCCEHUNT photos all around the conference center, the nearby hotels, and all around Seattle. I've used Twitter more in the last five days than I have since setting up my first account in 2007. I enjoyed getting to know my Woodburn School District colleagues better and had a really good time with them. We don't cross paths often because I work in the elementary school and my colleagues who attended the conference teach in the two middle schools and one of the high schools. We are connected, though, in our common passion and commitment to integrating current technologies into teaching and learning in all grade levels K-12, and helping our fellow teachers do the same. 

Doug Peterson (WAAST), Forrest Fisher (WSD IT Director),Charissa Bruce (Valor Middle School)
With Charissa Bruce (Valor MS), Erin Rodriguez (French Prairie MS), and the IPEVO guy

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections and for honoring our profession by journaling your personal learning! Thanks for your kind words about the message I shared!