Highlights From the MEMO March Conference

MEMOConfThe weather was actually decent and the drive to Duluth was easy as I headed to the Conference; a good time to think after a crazy busy week. There were about 50 people in attendance, and a fair number of them were tech integrationists this year, which added a rich element to the event.

The keynote was Mark Garrison,  Tech Director at White Bear Lake Schools.  He also did a breakout session that was somewhat like being on the Mad Mouse roller coaster! Mark was doing live demos of his favorite 50 online sites, and when something didn’t work, he just backed up, said, “who cares” and moved on. I so admire that quality, no fear about any sort of perfection, just learning and sharing. And, trust me, no one will ever sleep in Mark’s classroom! I only say that in the kindest way, he is a very bright, energized guy, and makes you want to just go out and change the world!

According to Mark….” My MEMO keynote expands on the themes of my TEDx  talk (Burnsville) and examines how concepts like the SAMR swimming pool and bridge to 21st Century pedagogies can help us innovate and change education.” Some of my favorite sound bites from Mark’s keynote  include:

  • “When you are hiring people, Google them. If you find nothing, be alarmed, be very alarmed!
  • Boring stuff on an iPad is still boring stuff…
  • What am I willing to disrupt in order to innovate? Disrupt! Model lifelong learning for students!
  • Most people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. Get rid of all those extra clothes…old stuff keeps you from innovating!”

Check out Mark’s favorite 50 sites by category!

Unconference Resources: The afternoon was an Unconference….thirty minute session topics were suggested and presented by people in attendance, which is always timely and lively. If you want to see what the topics were, go to http://tinyurl.com/omzvnkz. Note: As you look at the topics, notice that you can click on Notes to see what the groups produced on the topic. I would suggest the Makerspaces and Gamification ones for sure! Lots of links and ideas; excited sharing and brainstorming throughout the thirty minutes. And, excellent notetakers too!

Smackdown Tidbits Too! At the end of the conference, participants were asked to share their favorite tools or ideas. And, those items can be reviewed at http://padlet.com/wall/memospring14

It was a wonderful use of a Saturday. A big thanks to MEMO conference planners for putting together a great event, and sharing the content so willingly with everyone, so I can share it so willingly with you!