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Turn ISTE Inspiration Into ACTION!

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 115C

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Professional Development Coach/Teacher
Educators' Lab
ISTE Certified Educator
Darcy got tired of boring PD and tired of forgetting all the ideas she got at great PD. So she creates what she always wanted: meaningful professional development experiences that help teachers turn inspiration into action and problems into possibilities. Teacher, wife, and mom to triplets, she nerds out talking about curriculum, ed tech, and all the things that make teaching and learning more joyful.

Session description

ISTE is packed with amazing tools and resources, but with so much to see and do, it's easy to forget your ideas before you make it back to the classroom. This session will help you maximize your ISTE experience and ensure your ideas help support your learners.

Purpose & objective

Educators are faced with countless issues and don’t have the time to wait for someone else to come up with the solution. Moreover, no one solution will work for all needs. This session aims to empower educators to use ISTE inspiration -and inspiration from all future PD- to ignite action. Too often conferences and professional learning opportunities get teachers’ brains pumping with exciting ideas but lack the time, support, and -most importantly- follow-through to actually IMPLEMENT those ideas. This is beyond frustrating and a huge challenge in education. This session aims to change all that by giving educators the time and support NOW to envision how they will utilize the tools and resources garnered at ISTE.

We also know personalized professional learning is vital to ongoing innovation in education (and key to keeping educators motivated and energized). I will help educators harness their professional learning time to address challenges they see in their classrooms, schools, districts, and communities by crafting targeted innovative solutions.

Participants will:
*Reflect on the tools, resources, and strategies they’ve discovered at ISTE 2023;
*Identify a need in their classroom, school, district, or community that presents an opportunity for innovation;
*Strategize how to use those tools, resources, and/or strategies explored at ISTE 2023 to craft possible solutions to that need;
*Incorporate clear goals to foster self-reflection on their implementation process;
*Leave with a process to support them as they implement tools, resources, and strategies garnered from future professional learning experiences;
*Gain a clear tool to help them personalize their PD -whether done individually, in groups/teams, or as a district- now and in the future.

This process has been used in dozens of Educator Innovation workshops (led by Darcy Bakkegard) with teachers, helping them successfully strategize how to address challenges they face by tapping into their own expertise, the power of collaboration, and ideas sparked in professional conferences.

We’ve modeled this format via PBS Education’s Teacher Community Project. Throughout five states, teacher ambassadors have organized summits to empower rural educators to identify, focus on, and design action plans to solve problems they see in their school or classroom. Teachers have been incentivized to implement their projects by receiving continuing education credits for journaling their experiences as they return to the classroom and execute their action plans. In addition, we’ve received positive feedback on the techniques we display with many teachers expressing a desire to use these same techniques with their students.

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(as attendees enter): Join Pear Deck, pick up handouts.

8 minutes- ISTE Braindump:
Pear Deck check-in: How you feelin’ after ___ days at ISTE?
Guided by the presenter, attendees will individually list the best, most exciting, most practical, most outlandish ideas, tools, apps, resources, strategies, gizmos and gadgets encountered at ISTE 2023. This is a chance to review and reflect on all the information shared at ISTE and see it listed out. (3 minutes)
Having done the thinking, attendees will Pair-Share 2-3 of their favorite ISTE finds, posting at least ONE resource on the group Pear Deck, thus helping spread the best ISTE information. (5 minutes)

7 minutes- Identifying Innovation Opportunities:
Pear Deck check-in: What’s weighing on you?
Guided by the presenter, attendees will individually list challenges, frustrations, weaknesses, district mandates, guardian/colleague/student complaints. These lists indicate opportunities for innovation! (3 minutes)
Attendees will review their lists, circling items that could be tackled together (one stone, two+ birds) (2 minutes)
Using a few simple filter questions, the presenter will guide attendees to select ONE challenge -big or small!- they would love to address/minimize. (2 minutes)

5 Minutes: The Match Game:
With a specific challenge in mind, attendees will be guided to review their ISTE brain dump through a new lens: Which ISTE tool(s), idea(s), resource(s) would best assist as they craft an innovative solution?
Pear Deck check-in: What are you working on? Attendees will post their challenge & desired resource. If desired, attendees will have the chance to then collaborate on any shared challenges.

35 minutes- Canvas How-To & Innovation Lab time:
The presenter will walk attendees through the key steps of the Educator Canvas, modeling how to complete each step. Attendees will articulate the challenge they plan to address and the solution (ISTE tool(s)) they plan to implement. Each step will be briefly modeled by the presenter followed by time for attendees to make notes for each step, ensuring their ISTE inspiration helps improve teaching and learning.
Much of this time will be independent work time with the presenter serving as a coach. However, attendees will be encouraged to work with colleagues, brainstorm with each other as able/willing, and generally collaborate to create their solutions.
Quick Share: Volunteers share their problem and proposed solution.

5 minutes- Wrap-up + Additional Resources:
Q & A

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Supporting research

As Alejandro Paniagua writes “Teachers are not technicians who implement the educational ideas and approaches of others, but rather professionals able to think about and look for solutions when they face new problems.” (Innovation in Everyday Teaching: No More Waiting for Superman; While I think teachers are the greatest problem-solvers in education, without time and support to act on their ideas, innovation won’t happen. Professional learning experiences must provide both the time and structure to help teachers turn inspiration into action. Otherwise, even the best PD will have a limited impact on teaching and learning.

Learning Forward has established the Standards for Professional Learning. Those standards are exemplified by Educator Canvas and the process utilized as the foundation of this workshop, as outlined in this document:

This session also models personalized PD, a key Andrew Canle explains is necessary to making any professional learning experience effective:

This session provides a clear structure to personalize any professional learning experience by engaging in everyday innovation. No more waiting for Superman and his fancy gadgets. ISTE arms educators with amazing tools; this session provides the time, structure, and support to weaponize those tools to fight educational challenges,

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Session specifications

Teacher education
Grade level:
Skill level:
Principals/head teachers, Professional developers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Access to their own curriculum, course calendars, files, and ISTE notes.
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
  • Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.