Key Takeaways From #KySTE16!
Educational conferences are always a great opportunity to connect and learn more about the great work schools are doing across the country. That especially holds true for the annual Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) Conference. It’s a chance for innovative Kentucky educators to gather and inspire, learn, and grow their commitment to providing exceptional digital learning opportunities for our great commonwealth.
We loved being a part of #KySTE16 because we ourselves are a group of Kentucky teachers who get really excited about the role technology plays in preparing our students to compete in a global society. But more importantly, we love connecting with like-minded educators who share our passion. As I reflect on the conversations that occurred last week over cold Ale-8-Ones and a little bottle cap dart fun (yes, we’re #KentuckyProud!), three key themes emerged:
1. We want what’s best for kids
Whether we were talking to teachers, technology directors, or superintendents, everyone spoke of a common goal – we want student learning to drive our work. Digital tools should open doors for increased creation and collaboration in the classroom. Students should be given voice and choice in how, when, and where they learn because it motivates and empowers them to improve their personal learning outcomes. And we couldn’t agree more! I enjoyed hearing stories from teachers who attended our #iTeachDigital seminars proudly share how students were eager to create Thinglinks for a character analysis and the difference Zaption has made in their ability to flip lessons and provide more one-on-one time in class. Or how about an attendee discovering the power of Twitter right in our booth? YES!
2. We want to empower teachers
Great teachers are a vital part of a thriving educational community. We applaud the schools and districts who invest in sending their faculty to conferences like #KySTE16 because it encourages connections and opens doors to new ideas and perspectives. Technology has the power to transform a classroom when teachers are given the right tools to extend learning beyond the bell, coupled with the opportunity to learn and grow from one another. It was fun to watch Boyle County Schools share their experience with Converge LMS to a crowd of Kentucky colleagues eager to glean from a district that understands both the challenges and victories of a 1:1 Chromebook initiative. How are you supporting innovative teaching and learning for your school? Are you putting the right tools in place to empower them?
3. We want to connect with our community
#KentuckyProud – it was our company’s theme at KySTE this year. It’s because we believe our state is doing some pretty incredible things when it comes to education. We desire to lift up that great work and share it with others. I love how Heather Warrell, Assistant Principal at Thomas Nelson High School, described our communities as bubbles and how we can stretch those bubbles. Who is a part of your bubble? How can we involve our communities more to support student learning and generate a greater sense of pride in the daily victories achieved in the classroom?
Thank you, #KySTE16, for giving us a chance to continue connecting and growing with amazing educators in Kentucky and beyond. Keep kids the focus. Empower teachers. Connect with your stakeholders. The team at Edvergent Learning is privileged to make available a suite of tools and services to support all three!