Tech Forum Highlights

12/28/2012 12:00:00 AM

This past fall, Tech & Learning celebrated the 10th anniversary of its popular professional development event for school leaders, Tech Forum. This one-day seminar is an inspiring day of learning, networking, and innovation, and the events in Chicago and New York this year were no different.

In New York, keynoter Patrick Higgins led off with a presentation about the importance of school branding. He offered specific tips such as the following:

• If you don’t control your message, someone else will.
• Don’t count on traditional media.
• Make it your job or someone else’s within the organizations to find and publicize the great things that are happening and push them out to the press and social media.
• Find bright spots in your organization and share them.

In Texas, keynoter Diana Laufenberg discussed specific ways technology can elevate the quality, relevance, and creativity of student work. Click HERE to see Diana's specific examples of how students transformed their learning with tech.

Both inspiring keynotes kicked off days filled with panel discussions about how schools are solving the latest edtech challenges, including offering specific tips and tools they have found to be most successful. Excerpts include:

• Innovative Approaches to STEM Education: Frank Noschese and Jeff Piontek discussed ways to engage students in scientific thinking, problem solving, and computer modeling. Click HERE to see 3D animations, simulations, virtual worlds, and examples of collaborations between students and scientific experts.

• Tools for Education Professionals: This panel of experts shared their favorite apps and Web 2.0 tools for planning, communicating, and building your own learning community. Click HERE to see the entire archived panel discussion via Livestream.

• iPads in the Classroom: Experts from iPad-using schools answered such questions as: How are students, teachers and administrators using the devices? What apps are proving most helpful? You can see Rob Miller’s helpful tops on how to integrate iPads into all aspects of education here.

• App-tivities in the Classroom: These Texas panelists shared some great iLessons that engage students and inspire them to succeed. Watch the archived panel discussion by clicking HERE.

This is just a snapshot of the kind of networking and learning that takes place at every Tech Forum event. Visit to read about upcoming Tech Forums and check out archived content from the past several years.


At the superintendent luncheon at Tech Forum in Austin, Texas, Editorial Director Kevin Hogan asked the attendees to name their best and worst edtech issues:


• iPad 1:1 deployment
• Teachers adapting to new environment
• Kids walking around with their devices and talking about what they’re doing
• Celebrating leadership


• iPad 1:1 deployment
• Funding
• Lack of devices
• Nausea-inducing prezis
• Teachers afraid of kids using devices
• Staff that think kids have to open their books
• Wanting to make wise decisions but paralyzed by over-analysis
• Managing all devices
• Shifting the staff mindset
• Dealing with shrinking staff
• Designing lessons that are more meaningful
• Lack of rural initiatives

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