I have been blessed to attend and present at the NC Technology in Education Society Conference, in Raleigh, for the past few years. It is an amazing meeting of the minds where I am able to collaborate and learn from some of the most passionate people in the educational technology world. (Not to mention I get to rub elbows with some of my tech idols like Kevin Honeycutt, Brad Waid, Kathy Schrock, and Richard Byrne -- just to name a few.) This year, however, was different. It was the first time I have had the honor to bring some of my students to present at the Student Showcase. Let me just say, I was left speechless!
I took seven of my fifth grade students, who have been working on a Genius Hour project. In order to get to go to the conference, the kids had to submit proposals, just as I have to whenever I present. Those proposals were then scored using a rubric, by a committee of administrators, educators, and community members. I did this mainly to see who really WANTED it. Here are the seven!
We got to the conference early enough so that we could participate in a session or two, visit other Student Showcase presentations, and take part in the makerspace before our session started at 1. I wanted them to get the entire conference experience. They had a BLAST!
After all the morning activities, and a delicious lunch from Chick-fil-a, it was time to set up for the session. They quickly made their way to their table, got their devices up and running, laid out their "business cards" with QR codes linked to a Google Site that people could visit for more information on their projects, and they were off! I literally stood back and watched, in amazement, as my students did their thing!
The students spread themselves out across the hallway and spoke to anyone who would listen about Genius Hour! They were excited, engaged, polite and so well spoken! I was blown away at how well they handled themselves answering questions and responding to these educators from all over!
I have to say that this was by far the most rewarding NCTIES experience I have had! To see my students excel the way they did was enough to make my teacher heart burst! I had so many educators from our district, state, country, and even the NCTIES Board, come up to me and compliment my kids, asking to connect with us, take their picture with us, tweet us, and so much more! It was AMAZING! It was definitely an awesome reminder of why I do what I do! My kids were in awe as we left! They couldn't stop talking about their experience! It is definitely one that we will never forget! Check out more on my Twitter and Instagram!
To learn more about NCTIES and their annual conference, click the link below.