Sunday, July 7, 2013

iWizards and Their Far-Flung Cousins

Reflections on ISTE '13, two of three

Perhaps my most significant experience at ISTE '13 was completely unsought.  While mooching the free coffee in the presenters room two days before my actual presentation I casually watched Brad Fischer sift through some of his own slides (Hey, he was projecting them onto a large screen....I wasn't spying).  Anyway, I noticed that some interesting students-in-action photos which prompted me to ask if his school had some kind of tech club, and he described a tech support group which was creating videos and perhaps other media for the benefit of the Danville Community Schools in Indiana.  

I mentioned that to Brad that Mercy's iWizards were also creating multimedia
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for our upcoming ninth grade tech orientation.  He suggested that the two groups get in touch.  Two days later, I mentioned the iWizards during my ISTE presentation.  This prompted 
Tanya Komandt of St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, Colorado, to approach me afterwards. She told me about St. Mary's Mouse Mischief tech club whose members  tutor teachers in tech tools, such as iMovie, Prezi, and Glogster. The two of us vowed to find ways to collaborate since our schools seemed to be "identical twins, separated at birth!" as Tanya noted.

I had time to reflect upon these fortunate encounters while I was traveling home. A thought occurred to me:  What if I reached out to a much wider group of techie educators to find out what their clubs were doing.  Perhaps I could curate best practices or we could find a platform for sharing information.  Knowing that I would be attending the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in mid-July, I posted the following to my attendees:

I thought it would be exciting to curate and publish some "best practice" student groups.  If you have "content" you might be able to share about your extracurricular tech teams or are interested in the project please let me know.

I quickly learned about three other groups who were doing interesting things like running the training sessions for new faculty, running a mock Apple Store, and providing tech services for other students.

I am not sure where this is headed, which has been the hallmark of my most interesting educational technology projects.  You can be sure I will keep you updated at the Drive-thru.

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