TIES Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE scholarship recipient.

 Submitted by: Deborah Disher, Holdingford Media Specialist

 The place to be on December 12 & 13th was the TIES Conference at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.  Here you would have found 3,100 educators learning about new technology and what others are doing in their classrooms and districts.  I have attended TIES for more years than I would like to admit too, but it never fails to give me new ideas, renew my passion for technology, and motivate me to share ideas with staff and students.  This year was no exception.

 One of the most interesting things that seemed to come up in many sessions was that of a “flipped classroom”.  Where teachers tape their presentation and post to the web and students then listen to the presentations as homework.  During class time students do what would normally have been assigned as homework and the teacher is there to assist them.  Class time can also be used to go more in-depth.  I can see this being very beneficial, especially in math classes.  What a different way to think of teaching!  

 I attended a session on staff training that gave me some new ideas.  One idea I liked was what they called, “Speed Geeking”. During “Speed Geeking”, staff will spend ten minutes at different stations being introduced to some new tool.  After offering a “Speed Geeking” program it’s a good idea to offer a period of time for post-session discussion. During the post-session discussion, questions can be asked of staff attendees about what they learned, what they liked, whether the format of the class effective, and suggestions for improvement.  Later on, a follow-up can be done, asking if staff is using what they learned and if they need further help, advice, or assistance.

 I am anxiously awaiting our next staff development days so that we can try “Speed Geeking”. I also plan to setup up some after school sessions to share some of the other great ideas I learned.  All in all, the conference was great and I would encourage anyone who has never attended to try it next year.