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Friday, October 23, 2015

#TLTechLive - What Worked + Conference Takeaways

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Today marks the conclusion of another terrific live event hosted by Tech & Learning magazine. From the keynote to the breakout sessions, this year was marked by more opportunities for engagement among participants. One person put it this way: It was great not to be "talked at" by experts but rather have the opportunity to "talk with" experts and other attendees.  The day was more about conversations than about having knowledge imparted onto the attendees. The approached worked well. It seemed participants had more of an opportunity to make meaning and build relationships.

Karen Blumberg kicked off the day with a keynote that provided a conversational climate. She posed questions to the audience that enabled attendees to get to know each other and see the expertise in the room. The keynote entitled, "Our PLNs, Ourselves" was a play on her childhood favorite "Our Bodies, Ourselves." The book advised women to claim their sexuality for their own pleasure. Blumberg's talk advised listeners to claim their professional learning networks (PLNs) for their own learning and to share that learning with others.  She asked the audience to think about who has influenced them and how they could positively influence others. "Don't just be a sponge soaking up knowledge from others," she advised. "Also, think about how you can contribute to learning for others."

The breakout sessions consisted of a few influencers in various areas who introduced themselves, then had a dialogue with those who choose their session.  Our session was, "You've got devices. Now what?" Once each of the three panelists gave a brief background, the audience and panelists engaged in a dialogue.  After the session, a participant shared this with me. In two minutes, you answered my one question in a way that will transform and inform how we spend our districts multi-million dollar smart bond grant.  I shared 3 lessons learned from tech deployments:
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