Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rebel U 2015 - Heroes and Villains #rebelu15

For the past several years for Rebel U, our Technology & Media Team decides on a theme for the day, which we try to carry over through our yearly professional development.  We try to do this to provide consistency in our publications, keep the Rebel U spirt from the beginning of the year alive throughout the whole school year, and most importantly, for fun!  One thing our team works really hard to do is provide quality professional learning that is a little different from traditional learning opportunities.  We try to not make the whole day a bunch of "sit and get" learning, but encourage our presenters to be hands-on with the participants, think outside the box for presentation methods, and in general, make the learning fun for those in sessions.  Our theme provides our presenters with opportunities to have fun with their content and it also gives our participants a chance to dress to match the theme!

The themes we have had in the past are:
2010: Inaugural year of Rebel U - no theme
2011: Innovation Through Collaboration
2012: weLearn
2013: A Day with the Stars
2014: Superheroes
2015: Heroes and Villains

As part of our registration this year, we asked participants to share their favorite Disney Hero or Villain as well as their favorite Disney movie.   This year in particular, we used the responses we gathered for our student response project and inspiration for our photo booth props.  So, what did our participants tell us were some of their favorites?

Rebel U 2015 {All About Our Attendees} #rebelu15

Each year, our presenters are key components in making our day successful, but each and every person who attends Rebel U is just as important.  At Rebel U, we have teachers, consultants, itinerant staff, and administrators who attend sessions.  One thing that we are proud to offer each person who attends is the choice to attend sessions that are of interest to them.  We do not dictate which sessions participants attend, as we want each person to get the most out of Rebel U.  By having the opportunity to personalize and self-directing their own professional learning, we hope that Rebel U provides an unique and individualized learning experience.  After all, we want our students to have unique learning experiences that set them up for success, so why not give our teaching staff that same opportunity?

Below are several graphs that share a little bit of basic information about our attendees for Rebel U 2015.  We use the information from these graph snapshots to see that we are providing session opportunities for all teachers (based on pre-registration) as well as any trends we see in preferences, needs, and feedback from previous years.  We love our teachers and are grateful for their continued support, participation, and open minds to the learning opportunities that Rebel U presents!

Rebel U 2015 {All About Our Presenters} #rebelu15

Rebel U is right around the corner and presenters work hard every year to put together amazing presentations.  This year is no exception to that statement!  Every year, we are amazed, impressed, blow away, and inspired by the ideas that our presenters step forward to share with their peers.  To celebrate the amazing things our amazing presenters are sharing this year, we wanted to share some amazing data about what Rebel U has to offer attendees this year!

Below is data that we have collected and would like to share about our presenters this year.  We are excited to have presenters from every building and almost every grade level!

If you would like to view our agenda for Rebel U 2015, please click here.

If you would like to view the session descriptions for Rebel U 2015, please click here.

6 Years of Learning, Sharing, and Fun for Rebel U! #rebelu15

Six years ago, Rebel U resulted from a plea for time for technology professional development.  Our teachers were always asking for it and our Technology & Media Team always was open to providing it,  but it was often hard to make worlds collide.  Back in 2010, Superintendent Britten provided our Technology & Media Team with a day to provide technology professional development to our professional teaching staff.  At this time, we were preparing for some big roll-outs (implementing Stone-ware and Google Apps).  Our team brainstormed and decided we wanted to plan a professional development day that was similar to that of MACUL.  With lots of hours brainstorming, planning, and designing, we were able to put together our first Rebel U technology professional development day.

Fast-forward five years later and we have been fortunately able to hold Rebel U every year for our staff.  This day continues with success every year because of the amazing presenters that step forward to share what they are doing in their classrooms, what they have learned about technology, or lead a discussion about how technology can leveraged in the classroom.  To make this happen, every year, about late winter/early spring, we send out our Call for Presenters for Rebel U.  When we open this call, we welcome all of our teachers, consultants, and outside consultants to be a part of our day by being a presenter.  As the world of education loves data, we have tried to collect data about our presenters and the sessions they share over the past six years.  This is by no means meant to be an evaluation of any individual, but rather data that validates the need for Rebel U, the diversity of presenters, content, session topic areas, and related professional standards that were addressed.  To maintain an annual professional program, we feel it is important to constantly evaluate our delivered program to the needs expressed by our professional teaching staff.

In addition to collecting this data about our program, we believe it is important in sharing as it can only make what we offer even better.  We do not try to hide anything about what we do (although we do like to keep some surprises under our sleeve until the day of Rebel U every year!), as someone might be able to notice something that we might have overlooked.  Below is information that we have gathered over the past six years about our presenters.  As we vary our Call for Presenters every year to make sure we are fitting the needs of our staff, some questions are not asked of our presenters every year.

We are looking forward to another fun year of learning and sharing at Rebel U 2015!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

9 Ways to Have Fun at Rebel U: Version 2.0

The other day, I wrote a post, "9 Ways to Have Fun at Rebel U".   One thing I was introduced to at the Podstock conference I went to this summer was the concept of Sketchnotes.  Since then, I have been hooked on trying to practice on what it means to bring the verbal world into the visual world.  So I thought I would use one of my own blog posts to practice Sketchnoting and take a risk and share my notes.

One of the great things I keep reading about Sketchnotes is that it is not about drawings/art, but about the idea.  What might be a meaningful sketch to me to remember a concept or idea might not mean anything to the rest of the people in the room or who are looking at my notes.  Some of sketches below are actually clipart images and digital typography that I combined with my own original sketches (pretty sure it is easy to pick out my originals!).  For my drawing, I used the Paper app on my iPad, a stylus, PowerPoint, and Photoshop (simply to merge three images together to form one).  Sketchnoting could could be done digitally, on paper with a pen/marker, or a combination of both.  What I have learned is it is all about finding your style and what works best for you!

Monday, August 17, 2015

10 Ways to be a Super Session Presenter at Rebel U

Rebel U is right around the corner and presenters work hard every year to put together amazing presentations.

A while ago, I read an article about the Podstock conference and one of the organizers, Ginger Lewman, wrote a blog post about "10 Ways to be a Phenomenal Podstock Presenter".  In following their Facebook page, I found they posted some neat things to prep their presenters for their professional development conference.  I thought she had many great ideas on how to prepare presenters for leading a session, so I thought I would share "10 Ways to be a Super Session Presenter at Rebel U"!  Some of the ideas listed below are very similar to the ideas that Ginger Lewman listed, but they are great presentation tips!

10 Ways to be a Super Session Presenter at Rebel U
  1. Teachers like seeing modeling.  If you are presenting about engaging your students in their learning or sharing a hands-on method, make sure your audience has an opportunity to participate in a similar experience.
  2. If you prepare a slideshow presentation, make it visually appealing.  After all, no one really wants to read a PowerPoint presentation...
  3. Post your presentation slideshow, materials, or anything else that might be a great reference to attendees online.
  4. Encourage your attendees to engage in conversation during your session, whether it be face-to-face, online, or through social media.
  5. Actively engage your audience in your session.  No one wants to "sit and get" all day!
  6. Leave time for questions, playing, and practice.
  7. Practice your presentation.  Time it out and add or take out material as necessary.
  8. Bring a dongle (if you have a Mac laptop), charger, and a Plan B (even if it is a mental Plan B!).  Be ready for anything!
  9. Leave your attendees wanting to learn more, talking about your session, or leave them with something that will remind them of your session.  If your session has a story that comes from it, the audience is more likely to remember what your shared.
  10. Don't be afraid to be different and put your best foot forward.  Some of the best presentations are built on taking chances, stepping outside comfort zones, and most of all, sharing what you know and your personal experiences!

9 Ways to Have Fun at Rebel U

Rebel U is not too far off!

Not too long ago, I read an article about the Podstock conference and one of the organizers, Ginger Lewman, wrote a blog post about "7 Ways to be a "Cool Kid" at Podstock 2014".  Coincidentally, the Podstock conference this year was also doing a superhero theme.  In following their Facebook page, I found they posted some neat things to prep people for their professional development conference.  I thought they had a great idea, so I thought I would share "9 Ways to Have Fun at Rebel U"!

9 Ways to Have Fun at Rebel U
  1. Own the theme.  Have fun, dress up, and become involved throughout the day.
  2. Talk to people outside your building. Sometimes, the conversations you have with others outside your building can provide an unique perspective and can add to the value of a session.
  3. Be prepared. Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring your charged device (and charger).  Although the focus of Rebel U is technology, the technology of pencil and paper is also great to have on hand for quickly jotting down ideas and resources. 
  4. Get your picture taken at the photo booth.  If you have ever stopped by the photo booth before, you know you are guaranteed a good time and many belly laughs!
  5. Actively participate in sessions.  Much like students, when you have a hands-on experience and  are actively engaged in the learning process, you are more likely to remember what you have learned.
  6. Engage in social media.  There were many great thoughts and moments captured across different social media platforms last year!  Use the #rebelu15 hashtag on social media to be part of the conversation!  Share thoughts, resources, pictures, and anything else!
  7. Come with a positive attitude and an open mind.  You never know what you might take away from the day when you set aside "limitations" that mentally and/or physically keep you from trying something new.  It doesn't matter which devices or how many devices you have in your classroom, an open mind could open new ways of thinking or conversations for making things work for you.
  8. Contribute.  Contribute to the day in some way.  This could be as simple as stepping outside of your comfort zone and contributing to conversation.  It could be donating something to the day (time, materials, photo booth props, etc.). Or something as simple as dragging a friend into the photo booth.  The more you contribute and participate actively in the day, the more you will take away from it.
  9. Reflect.  We ask everyone to fill out an evaluation at the end of the day.  This is important to the Tech & Media Team for future planning, but also verifies your participation in the day.  Take notes or make a plan for how you would like to use ideas and tools you learned about today.  Think about what you liked about the sessions you attended and provide thoughtful and constructive responses on the evaluation.  Or take some time after the day of Rebel U to reflect by writing a guest post on the GLPS Tech & Media blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...