VT Fest: Day 2

12 Nov 2018 1:27 PM | Matt (Administrator)

by Tessa Johnson

Day two at Vita-Learn's VT Fest started with a session by Rushton Hurley talking about taking your teaching to the next level.  In his presentation, Defining Amazing: Taking What You Do to the Next Level, Rushton talked about the value of increasing student engagement and authentic learning experiences. "When kids know others will see it, they want it to be good," he said."When they know just the teacher will see it, they want it to be good enough."  Rushton also pointed out that one way to increase greatness is to allow more time for teachers to creatively brainstorm together.  Wouldn't that be awesome?!  He is a very engaging speaker.  I signed up for his newsletter.  If you're interested in learning more about him and the projects he's involved in, check out his website

Rushton Hurley

I bought his books!  They will be in the DBS Professional Lending Library. Stop by to check them out for yourself. 

Next up: Google Tour Builder!  This is a cool tool that I've never played with before.  It's quick and easy to use and the presenter gave us several good ideas how to use it in school, such as creating a list of places you've been, or a 'tour" of the major battles in a war.  I made a quick tour of the Hartford School District.

I had a nice chat with a vendor there who had a 3D printer.  I've been fascinated by them for awhile now, so I was excited to see a session devoted to using 3D printers with elementary students.  The presenter showed us Tinkercad and talked about several projects she's done with elementary students, including an awesome collaboration project between kindergartners and 3rd graders.  Now I want a 3D printer!!  :)  Even without the printer I think we can put Tindercad to good use. Just the other day a 5th grade teacher came to me looking for such a project, and I know it will be helpful for my First Lego League team project as well.

Then it was time for lunch and a lunchtime keynote speech from Dan French, Vermont Secretary of Education.  He talked about the state of education in Vermont and urged creative collaboration throughout the state.

Thank goodness it's vegetarian!

VT Secretary of Education, Dan French
 After lunch I went to a super fun session called Using AR in the Classroom with Merge Cubes.  Merge Cubes were all the rage awhile back when Walmart was selling them for $1 each.  People were buying them by the shopping cart full!  I was not one of those people.  Oh well.  The presenter brought several Merge Cubes, including a DIY one, and he introduced us to a bunch of apps.  AR is pretty cool, but I wonder how long it will hold a student's attention.  I made a quick DIY one when I got home to show my kids and they were interested in the wow factor, but moved on quickly.  I'm curious to do more experimenting on how it can be used to extend learning.

Galactic Explorer shows you the whole galaxy in your hand. 

HoloGlobe shows you the Earth, in real time!

I spent some time in the Extended Learning area, playing with a Cricut vinyl cutter.  Check out this cool vinyl Karen put on her laptop!  When she opens the lid, the bulb "lights up."  I made a little decoration for my own laptop as well.

Laptop bling

Karen's bling is cooler, but I like my pink shiny too. 

We ended the day with big thanks all around, more raffle prizes awarded, and SNOW!  Eek!

I'm enjoying my weekend now, but looking forward to bringing some great ideas and cool tech to school next week.

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