Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reflections on a Decade of ICE Conferences

     I do not remember, for certain, the year of my first ICE conference, however, I am confident that I have easily surpassed a decade of attendance. Over those years, it has been a pleasure to watch it’s evolution. As I remember my first years, it was primarily attended by us “techies”. A majority of the sessions would have seemed like a foreign language to most teachers. Today, the climate has changed to one where technology is no longer just an add-on to classes, but is completely integrated within the teaching/learning environment. As such, ICE has become the same. This conference is no longer for the “techies” but for all teachers and administrators, completely integrated into the teaching/learning landscape.
     More and more sessions are not only designed with the classroom teacher in mind, but are presented by classroom teachers. It was my pleasure, this year, to hear Erin Klein, whose www.kleinspiration.com has been a resource for many ideas I’ve shared with our lower grade teachers, as well as Nick Provenzano, aka “The Nerdy Teacher” (www.thenerdyteacher.com ) who offers terrific ideas from the ELA side of things that are particularly relevant to my 5 - 8 teachers. I appreciate, so much, hearing the practical, innovative ways technology is being used in the classroom.
     My own imagination cannot stretch nearly as far as the collective imaginations of all attending and presenting at ICE. So many sessions included attendees sharing their ideas, as well, such as Tammy Lind’s session Thursday morning where a shared Padlet did the trick, or Nick’s session where Today’s Meet allowed the collaboration.
     As I look forward to ICE’s next 10 years it is hard to imagine what ICE2025 will look like. I do know that I would love to get involved with the planning and work that goes into it.  It is truly an amazing event for ALL teachers and administrators that, in turn, has a powerful impact on student learning.

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