This is a guest post from Ryan Hiltner, Instructional Technology Specialist at Sartell High School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today!
Attending any conference should help a person to build on previous knowledge and to learn new strategies and techniques. The TIES conference did that and more for me, I was able to realize that some of the implementations we do here are valid as well as having a plethora of new and expansive knowledge available.
I attended sessions on a variety of topics including Google applications, substitute folders, and expanding professional development and many more. The theme of the conference was “What’s My Story” and the two keynote speakers hit on just that. They focused on their stories while tying in the growing media presence that is available to us. While that social media aspect of school can be a scary world for students it is also a powerful medium for them to share their visions and their work with the world.
The biggest take away that I had at the conference is that we should be doing more on demand and online professional development. There are school districts that are much larger than ours that are having their staff go through on demand professional development instead of a day off in the building professional development. This allows the teachers to differentiate more, a concept that we hope is happening for students as well, which in turn makes the time more meaningful and in line with the teachers needs. This is a topic that I plan to try to pursue more in the coming weeks and years so that we can build a system of professional development that is teacher centered.
I would like to thank you for supporting me and helping me to attend this two day conference. I enjoy all of the learning that took place and will implement many of the techniques I learned with the teachers and staff I work with.