Program: Tech Forum Midwest

7:00am - 8:15am

Registration and Breakfast

8:15am - 9:30am

Welcome and Opening Keynote

Clarence Fisher
Flight Plans: From Here to There

We talk about twenty first century classrooms like we are gazing off into the future. But its 2009 and the 21st century is getting ready to pass us by. What are we doing to change the way classrooms operate? How are we helping our students to be global thinkers who can bridge ideas and cultures? Join award-winning educator Clarence Fisher as he describes the 21st century classroom as it could be.

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9:30am - 9:45am

Refreshment and Networking Break

9:45am - 11:00am

Breakout Sessions

Beyond the Web 2.0 Hype: Focusing on What Really Matters

David Jakes (moderator); Ryan Bretag, Clarence Fisher, Lucy Gray
The past few years have seen an explosion of disruptive technologies that challenge the way we think, the way we operate, the status quo of educational practice. Understandably, critical questions have emerged regarding the use of these Web 2.0 technologies in education. Do they actually lead to new literacies or do they simply offer a new way to attain existing ones? What impact are they really having on students and schools? Can one be an excellent teacher without using today's technology? Join a panel of passionate educators as they challenge you to think deeply about the true impact of new technologies, and what they mean for education.

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David Jakes

Lucy Gray

Creative Collaboration Using 21st Century Tools

Jon Orech, Scott Meech, Dr. Henry Thiele
Today's students live in an interconnected world in which understanding how to collaborate with peers around the globe is becoming a crucial skill. Our three speakers will share examples of cooperative learning, collaborative authoring and global exchanges facilitated by Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, discussion boards, and Google Education Apps. Learn how creative collaboration is engaging and teaching students while helping prepare them for their future.

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Dr. Henry Thiele

Scott Meech

Jon Orech


Dick Diener, Ben Grey, Steve Dembo
Come explore the world of podcasting, from listening to creating, and everything in between. You will hear examples of podcasts by students and educators, learn how they were created, and get tips from three experts about the ins and outs of podcasting for educational purposes. Find out how other educators are using podcasting to make learning come alive and discover how students, teachers and administrators in your district can do the same.

Steve Dembo and Ben Grey

Dick Diener

Building Professional Learning Communities

Charlene Chausis, Meg Ormiston
Online learning, collaboration and social networking are not just powerful approaches for today's students, they are central to a 21st Century approach to professional development. This session will address the school structures that promote small learning communities among school staff. We will explore peer coaching, collaborative teams, and the use of Web 2.0 technologies for networking and communication. Learn how to build authentic learning communities that support teachers and other staff members in their daily work and allow them to become lifetime learners committed to ongoing improvement and professional growth.

Charlene Chausis, Meg Ormiston

11:00am - 11:15am

Refreshment and Networking Break

11:15am - 12:15pm

Industry Spotlights

Hear from the companies that are sponsoring this event and shaping the future of educational technology.

12:15pm - 12:45pm


12:45pm - 1:15pm

Dessert Reception

1:15pm - 2:00pm

Roundtable Discussions

These discussions, on topics suggested by attendees when you register, provide a great opportunity for you to network with fellow technology leaders.

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Howie DiBlasi

Joe Brennan

2:10pm - 3:30pm


Here's your chance to explore key topics—such as digital storytelling, visual literacy, leadership skills, or grant writing—in greater depth. Look for updates on topics and speakers in the coming weeks.

Developing Digital Learning Spaces: From Vision to Reality

David Jakes, Ryan Bretag
Yes, emerging technologies have great potential. But how do we make them work in our schools today? This session explores the implementation of a multi-dimensional digital space with three components—a course space, a student-content creation space, and a knowledge commons that supports both—and examines how they support the development of learning literacies. Come prepared to evaluate these three spaces and discuss the organizational readiness that was required to take them from conversation to implementation.

The Future of Leadership

Meg Ormiston
This workshop is about change and the power of technology tools to help create a learning environment of excellence. Participants will understand the dramatic changes in the world of business and why education needs to change to prepare workers for the global economy, establish a deeper understanding of the importance of collaboration, explore the critical importance of establishing a Personal Learning Network, and synthesize the many variables of change and resistance within a school system.

Google Secrets

Howie DiBlasi
Think you know Google? Think again. Learn how to tap into its full potential with insider tips to make your life and the lives of students and teachers easier. Today, Google is an office suite, communication tool, powerhouse search engine, massive digital library, a fast and versatile cell phone portal and even a virtual observatory. Come see how to get the most out of the Googleverse. Classroom, administrative and personal tips and tricks will be demonstrated.

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Advanced Thinking in Digital Storytelling

Jon Orech, Joe Brennan
Now that you've used DST for a while, how do you make the projects better? Most teachers begin with a definition of terms, or the "What." Next, they spend some time on the tech manipulation, or the "How." This presentation focuses on the meta-cognitive, or the "Why," In other words, understanding and justifying the rationale for making decisions in story crafting. Emphasis will be placed on writing process, image manipulation, motion, transition, pacing, and soundtrack.

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3:30pm - 4:30pm

Sponsor-Hosted Reception

Join the party! Unwind and network with colleagues and industry partners.