The Journey: Iowa 1:1 Conference

The Japanese poet, Basho, once wrote, “Everyday is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”  It’s the day after the Iowa 1:1 Conference in Des Moines, and what a journey it was!  My body is still in shock.  Physically – I’m tired.  Mentally – my brain is trying to sort out all of the great information presented and how I can begin implementing some of the methods as soon as possible.  Perhaps taking you through yesterday’s journey may make you understand what I mean.

“Everyday is a journey…”

Tin-Tin
Mr. Yanda (Principal), Mrs. Healy (Tech Coordinator), myself and four students all met in front of the high school at 5:30am………..that’s right.  I didn’t stutter.  This is where the journey began.
We tried to pass the three-hour suburban ride with friendly conversation although many tangents presented themselves.  Two of the students occupied themselves with a piece of tinfoil they got from our rest-stop by molding it gingerly into different objects.  They finally settled on a figure they endearingly called, Tin-Tin.  Jokes were cracked and quotes from YouTube videos of republican candidates Bad Lip Reading kept the rest of the driving time filled nicely.

The Big Show

Finally, Vets Auditorium could be seen from I-235, and we parked.
The students came with me to the first session, one discussing how to apply philosophies of Zen to a smooth and stress free 1:1 transition within a school.  For me, interesting.  For the students, not so much.  
Teachers deciding which session to attend next.
The next session involved listening to an educator from Earlham speak about a class they offer at their school where students are learning to create and code apps for the iPad and iPod touch.  VERY COOL!  I was blown away at the fact that they were using iTunesU to watch and learn from a class offered at Stanford -yep, that’s right – THAT Stanford.  Earlam’s App Development class is offered as a Business class, because students have to learn the app market, projection, financial planning to produce successful apps, etc.  One of their students is actually making money and featured in the Des Moines Register.  App development is a booming industry and will be one of the sought after jobs in the next 5 years.  Talk about preparing students for the future!
Next session I sat in on was great: Exploring iPads for the use of Literacy.  Dr. Amy Hutchison, professor at Iowa State, went through her research and what she discovered when iPads were put into the hands of preschoolers, 2nd grades, 7th graders, and high school students.  And what she discovered at every level was through the use of multiple apps, students went deeper when making predictions, identifying cause and effect, visualizing the story, and sequencing events.  She also demonstrated the power of iBooks when reading text.  She also took us through one class’ journey of writing and presenting a persuasive speech using Evernote, Popplet, Pages, and iMovie.  What I loved most about this particular session is it reinforced everything I felt about literacy and the iPad.  It felt good to know that everything I’ve been trying to tell students and some other teachers is backed up by research.  Dr. Hutchison has a website that goes in to further detail about her research and what she found.
While I attended the literacy session, the students had become comfortable with the environment and decided to attend their own session.  1:1 from a Student’s Perspective was lead by students from BCLUW.  To see what they came away with, check out this Google Doc.

Refuel

With three sessions under our belts, it was time to lossen them up for some lunch at the food court in the downtown Des Moines skywalk.  A lot of the over 1,100 teachers from the conference were there just in a buzz about the sessions they sat in on.  It was quite the scene.

The Countdown

There were 45 minutes before we had to present our session.  We decided to utilize it by finding an empty room at the conference and relaxing a little.  I used the time to double check everything to make sure it was working properly.  I really wanted to utilize my new Reflection app, which allows me and the others to wirelessly project what’s on our iPad screen using my laptop.  Unfortunately, the convention center’s network would not allow the iPads to communicate with my laptop and recognize it as an AirPlay device.  So we went with plan B: hook them up to the projector.

Show Time

Mat presenting how he uses Shakespeare in Bits
The time had come to present, and I was excited.  Everyone shared out their part: Mr. Yanda – Policies, Mrs. Healy – Protection & Maintenance, myself – Homework Distribution and Assessment, and the students gave their demos of some of the apps they utilize.  Forty-five minutes didn’t seem like hardly enough to fully demonstrate what we have been able to do in the short three months that we have been 1:1, but maybe next year.

“… and the journey itself is home.”

Just as we got piled into the suburban, adrenaline still racing from our presentation, I received a phone call from my wife saying she thinks her water may be breaking, her contractions are 2-4 minutes apart, and she is currently driving herself to the hospital. But she’s over three hours away.  The second wave of adrenaline poured on.
To make a long story short, her water did not break, the contractions calmed down, and they sent her back home two hours later.  
So, do you see why I’m still in shock?  My body and mind have been bum-rushed by technology integration ideas, sleep depravation, adrenaline rushes, and the realization of having our third child.  
Everyday is a journey, Mr. Basho – a journey indeed.
Mr. Bormann
English Rocks!

P.S.  These guys did an incredible job demoing and representing our school.  Central should be proud.
Students that helped present and demo.

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