Saturday, July 16, 2016

AKTeach Virtual Learning Conference 2016

This was my second year attending the AKTeach Virtual Learning Conference, and I have to admit that I am just so amazed and jazzed by the quality of the learning opportunities offered during the 3 days of this event. I would like to thank the AKTeach team, specially Phil Johnson and Nicole Fuerst for their work in putting together this small, yet powerful event, offering fellow Alaskan educators the opportunity for connecting and learning, in a very stimulating and interacting environment.
This year  presenters were amazing educators who worked with the attendees for 3 consecutive days sharing their expertise and helping us growing in skills and creativity, important aspects to bring back to our classrooms next month when we will start a new school year.

The session  have chosen this year was on Advanced Paper Circuitry presented by Jeannine Huffman and David Cole. The reason why I wanted to attend to this session was that I wanted to learn more about Arduino coding for using ATTiny processor with the paper circuity. Jeannine was awesome in guiding us though the process of the creation of paper circuits that could support t he movement mechanism managed by the ATTiny processor.
I loved the freedom of creativity we had during the workshop and how some of us took off in different directions more relevant to the domain of their work. We all were very engaged although we all were focused on different goals. This process made me think about how we teachers often expect our students to work on the same task at the same pace, while we should give them the freedom to make a task/project relevant to their own reality. I love being in the shoes of a student because helps me keep in mind their prospective when it comes down to my classes.

Something I really liked about this session was learning about how to create advanced paper circuits with movements regulated by a coded microprocessor on a budget! These days we all have to deal with cut to education and is very challenging to find the money for supporting cool and innovative educational experiences. For this reason I think that it is particularly relevant to find way to bring innovative and engaging STEM experiences to our students with a minimum cost!!!
 I personally feel so excited about what I have learned and I can't wait to share it with my students and my colleagues!

My take from this conference is that there is so much we can do with students and it is very important to network with other educators across the state and the nation for supporting, helping, motivating and sharing with each other the resources, great ideas, success and failure stories that can help all of us in being better educator and support and motivate our students.

If you have never been to the AKTeach Virtual Learning Conference I would strongly recommend to mark it on your calendar for next year. It s not a "major production" conference, however it is very rich and very powerful!

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