TIES Conference Recap by Holly Pringle: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE scholarship recipient.hpringle

Submitted by: Holly Pringle, Becker Middle School Media Specialist

I just got home from the TIES conference in Minneapolis, and this year’s experience was, once again, amazing. I am so impressed with all the people who present at these conferences, and the wealth of knowledge that all comes together for the two days of TIES.  Unfortunately, a foot of snow in the Metro made getting to TIES “interesting” this year, but we made it in time!

The theme of the conference was “On the Move: Transforming Pedagogy with Technology”, and there seemed like a million sessions offered for a variety of needs & interests.  As was the case last year, my biggest disappointment was that there were so many concurrent sessions, I had to choose not to see some sessions that looked like they’d be great.  I wish conferences like this were in the summer (and cheaper!), so more staff from my school could attend.  The tech integrationists here would have loved a chance to see some of what I was able to.

Because the 8th graders in my school will be starting a 1:1 iPad project next year, I was interested in attending sessions by Apple, as well as sessions that talked about setting up, deploying, and managing large numbers of iOS devices, since that will be a large part of my job next year. I attended three different sessions about 1:1 deployments and I learned some new ideas, especially in regards to mobile device management.  I think I have a good handle on where I’m heading with this next year (what to do, and what not to do), and I’m glad to have met and networked with some folks who could be great coaches and allies if I have questions next year.

The highlight of the conference for me was the keynote address on the first day by Simon Sinek.  He did a great job addressing the fact that technology is great, but we should never use it for technology’s sake, but for the betterment of our kids….or the world.  After all, it’s all about human connections.  I love that that was the framework my conference began with, and I thought about the role of technology in regards to my kids…..and making their lives richer….the whole time.

In all, the TIES conference was worthwhile for me on many levels, and I’m so thankful CMLE made it possible for me to attend. Thank you!