Thursday, March 1, 2018

Intensity is Free: Reflections & Takeaways from the 3rd Annual MDUSD STEM & EdTech Symposium

The annual Mount Diablo Unified School District & East Bay CUE STEM and EdTech Symposium, sponsored by Andeavor is the product of lots of hard work by the incredible Shauna Hawes who has put on an amazing event THREE years in a row! Shauna, with the help of Megan Gerdts, Valley View Middle School principal Lisa Sullivan, the Valley View Jag Tech Team and more behind the scenes helpers work tirelessly to plan and run this event that makes us ALL #MDUSDProud. Read more about the symposium in this article by the East Bay Times East Bay EdTech Symposium sees record-breaking 500 participants by Lou Fancher.

Photo credit: Sherry LaVars/Special to the East Bay Times

The third annual event
was a Saturday in February filled with wonderful sessions led and attended by fabulous educators around the East Bay and beyond. Jon Corippo, Interim Executive Director of CUE, presented the morning keynote and he did not disappoint. Jon got the crowd cracking up with Funny Amazon Reviews (check them out, you'll be rolling on the floor laughing too). His point though, yes he did have one, is that this writing is brilliant. What if we gave our kids chances like this? To be creative, funny, and write for a real audience. He encouraged the audience to create lessons that students will remember forever and gave the epic example of Matt Vaudrey's "Mullet Ratio" lesson which he calls "The Only Lesson They'll Remember". Jon told us to take our own lessons and look at the 4C potential (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication). Increase the 4C potential and create a lesson they'll remember.

The session options were incredible and new this year was an all day option for a Raspberry Pi workshop with the amazing Amanda Haughs. Attendees got to experience the world of physical computing with programs like Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi with their own Raspberry Pi computer.

Once again I had the pleasure of presenting with THE Joe Young to a group of amazing educators on Google Expeditions and we had so much fun. This year we presented two sessions and both groups were fantastic. We hoped to answer the question of how to REALLY utilize this technology in your class in a meaningful way instead of just using it as a flashy new tool. We took participants on some exciting virtual field trips, shared resources including companion HyperDocs for expeditions and brainstormed ideas on how to incorporate the 4Cs into these exciting lessons.

The incredible MDUSD & Andeavor STEM Lending Library was available for the attendees to check out in the Lending Library playground. Since last February, when the lending library was officially rolled out, the Valley View Jag Team (led by Shauna Hawes) has been working hard to manage the library so that teachers and administrators can get materials and return them. The Library has tech tools like Dash, MakeyMakey, Raspberry Pi, Spheros, VR Headsets, 3D Printers and more for ANY educator in the Mount Diablo Unified School District to check out for two weeks at a time and use in their classroom or with their staff.

It was a wonderful day and once again made me incredibly proud of my district and the amazing learning community we have created. There were tons of highlights are resources shared throughout the day. Check out some of tweets from #STEM18 below.