Access ISTE + Badge Ribbons = Good to Go!

25 Jun

It was a great opportunity for those of us who could not make the trip down to San Antonio this year for the ISTE conference to be able to participate virtually. What an opportunity to grasp some of the professional learning opportunities in a different way.

Computer access – check

FM system clear – check

Chairs and tables set – check

Food and drinks – check

Own WiFi devices – check

Oh! And the good part….I made ribbons for the participants who joined me today to be part of Access ISTE! (What fun. Great idea from my colleague @DianeLander.)

Our morning started with an introduction to each other. Not only did I invite fellow colleagues from our school division, but I also ventured out in the surrounding school divisions and Alberta Education people. Why not? Diversity in experiences and thoughtful experiences in edtech make for great conversations, sharing and connections! I also shared my ISTE2012 ribbon ‘tail’ to give context to the upcoming ribbons our participants could also obtain today.

Keynote Steven B Johnson guided us through a tour of how people throughout history have held on to their initial ideas for awhile before making a connection to a supposed ‘eureka’ moment. His imagery and storytelling was fantastic.

• Human connections are valued because they form patterns, which share ideas, perceptions, experiences and create opportunities for reflection and new ideas, etc.

• Great ideas are preceded by a long period of incubation, the “slow hunch”.

• Even Darwin jotted down all his ideas, his brainstorm book (we know it as a kind of Evernote) was called The Commonplace Book. He read a lot and would write down quotations from his readings.

• An idea is not a single thing. It is a network of other ideas, hunches, ideas from others.

• Creating a liquid network allows for fluidity of ideas, information spill over, mind harvesting, connecting with different people. (How can schools garner this type of thinking?)

• Simulations are an important part of learning since it is interdisciplinary in nature, collaborative, good questions need to be asked to advance as well as clearly communicating the process. (So, gaming can be good in education.)

Although I do not have his ISTE video available, Steven did do a similar TED talk (18 mins.) and an even shorter RSAnimate (4 mins.) which may be of interest to you.


As well, we noticed a new ISTE slogan which I feel brings relevancy to the transformation that is occurring in education.


Three opportunities to listen to guest speakers being interviewed were well received. Short 15 minute segments with specific sharing was welcomed.

1) Repository of online resources –

2) Digital literacy and BYOD white paper –

3) Lessons and intro to digital citizenship –


Activities with Mobile Devices was headed by Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell) where she showed us video samples and shared ideas on how to engage students with mobile devices. has the Human Bingo sheet, an icebreaker, establish relationships

• I Spy – an object from home, in their textbooks, around the school, that represents a math, science or grammar concept. ie. SHAPES – I Spy Geometry Shapes – take a pic (can use Be Funky), edit it (close up) and then share w/a partner to have them guess the shape and the name of the object. Using Linoit.

• Invent an App – groups of three/four, come up with an app that does something amazing to help teachers. 30s commercial. Brainstorm – what does it do? Use Magisto app to record idea.


iREAD! Integrating iPads for Reading Engagement, Achievement and Development. Mary Knight shared one districts’ story of how one grade level across the division worked specifically with teachers and students utilizing a 1:1 iPad project this year. They were able to set up a criteria for apps (they needed to be robust, individualized and cost effective). They ensured that teachers had regular, weekly access to a tech coach. Also they found that lots of modeling and scaffolding of the uses of iPads in the learning environment gave teachers more confidence. See their journey at .


Eric Siler took us step by step through Creating and Editing Student Videos on the iPad from topic selection, scripting, pre-production, production and post production. Here is his presentation – LINK.


And finally, we finished the day with an energized Adam Bellow who shared More EduTecher’s Web Tools to Make Your Classroom Rock! (Check out Edutecher.)

• Makey Makey to make things

• TodaysMeet for backchannel discussions

• Google reading level

• Ujam – make your own music

• Desmos – free online graphing calculator (a rival to the TI)

• Class Dojo – class management in a fun way

• Remind 101 – free text messaging for teachers/coaches

• IFTTT – if this then that recipe triggers

• Class Badges – free online tool where teachers can award badges

• Fotor – photo editor

• Screenleap – free screen sharing

• Animoto – create and share videos (I use AnimotoEdu for longer video clips.)

• Padlet – online corkboard (I use the corkboard but do not share it out since Padlet embeds unwanted text messages. I prefer Linoit.)

• – send yourself a letter/email in the future

• – choose what you’d like to have printed before you print. (I also use the Chrome extension – Print or PDF with CleanPrint.)

• Capzules – online storytelling via interactive timelines.

• Infuselearning – free response system

• eduClipper – edu digital clipboard (an educational version of Pinterest)

• Easelly – create infographics easily

Overall, it was a great day of learning, sharing, connecting AND collecting prized ribbons. I look forward to next year’s topics.

Access ISTE ribbons



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