Today I had the great oppertunity to present at the first Salinas City Elementary School District P.L.A.Y.D.A.T.E. (People Learning & Asking "Y": Digital Age Technology Exploration) 2013. There where over 100+ teachers in attendance for the "UnConference" and were enthused to see that the presenters were facilitaters and their own colleagues who stepped up to present their knowledge of what is working for them in their classrooms using their new tools.
All teachers in attendance today recieved either a new iPad or a Chromebook. Many of the teachers in my sessions stated that this was the first time using either tool but were excited at the oppertunity to learn how to use it and integrate it into their learning and teaching for the classroom. Many were thrilled that they will be able to have the rest of the summer to "play" with their new tools and get familiar with all the features so they can have a great start in learning how to integrate educational technology in their classes next school year.
What is a P.L.A.Y.D.A.T.E.? "This conference will be geared towards those who just want to explore - or play with - apps, websites, programs or tools that they've always wanted to dig into more deeply, but never had the time or support to do so. Modeled after an unconference or an EdCamp, the sessions will be participant-driven and hands on. Most importantly - there will be no sit and get. Period. No Presenters. Period. All of the content will be learner driven, exploration based and hands on. Just like the model of education we hope for our students. At the end there will be a share out of learning and take aways "The Play Off" - and digital content and notes will be disseminated to all." (Taken from Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog)
This is the first of the "un-conference" for the Salinas CESD but from what was seen today will not be their last. At the end of the three sessions, the PLAYDATE was ended with a share out from the participats who volunteered to show and tell what they had learned this morning from sessions attended. The energy in the crowd could be felt all over campus! The following are the presos and info I shared in my sessions today.