Restart Recharge Podcast

203 - FETC Recap

February 15, 2022 Forward Edge Season 2 Episode 3
Restart Recharge Podcast
203 - FETC Recap
Show Notes Transcript

Educational Technology conferences are a great way to get a grasp on new instructional strategies, education technology tools, and important concepts circulating the world of education. Several members of our team have recently attended the Future of Education Technology Conference in Orlando, FL and are here to bring you the “must-know” edtech trends, highlights, and everything else you might have missed from this year’s conference. Whether you were there, following along on Twitter from afar, or didn’t know FETC existed before today, this episode is sure to bring you some new ideas and insights that can support your instructional coaching role. We’ll also be sharing our top tips for anyone who might be new to the (sometimes chaotic) conference scene, but have plans to attend in the future!

Links mentioned in the show:


Forward Edge Coaches Camp Registration

Follow Megan on Twitter

Follow Michael on Twitter

Shawn Achor

Jill DuBois

George Couros, The Innovator's Mindset

Ms. Sutherd on TikTok

Canva Shortcuts

Bookcreator

Microsoft Translator

Unruly Splats


Podcast Team

Hosts- Katie  Ritter & Justin Thomas

Editing Team- Megan Whitacre, Michael Roush, Mark Gumm,

Social Media/ Promo Team- Annamarie Rinehart, Lisa Kuhn, Maggie Harris

Creative/Content Team- Brooke Conklin, Emily Cowan, Tracee Keough

Producers- Tyler Erwin & Katie Ritter

Justin Thomas:

Calling all technology coaches join for an edge this summer for a two day coaches camp packed with high quality professional development exclusively for you. Attendees will work with like minded coaches on creating strategies for teacher relationships, executing coaching cycles and building a culture of coaching and tech integration within their school district. There are two opportunities to attend coaches camp this summer join us either June 25 and 26th in New Orleans prior to SD 2022 or in Cincinnati on July 28, and 29 please visit For and hyphen edge dotnet slash coach camp to reserve your spot today.

Katie Ritter:

Aloha, I'm Katie Ritter.

Justin Thomas:

I'm Justin Thomas. And this is the restart recharge podcast, a podcast by coaches for coaches. We bring you those tips and tricks to help you in your everyday work as an instructional technology coach or you know, whatever they call in your school district.

Katie Ritter:

So hopefully you're gonna leave this episode with us today feeling just a little bit less on your own coaching Island.

Justin Thomas:

And look at the beginning of this podcast you heard about the coach camp promo listeners are going to get a promo code here. That's our our podcast in all caps. And you'll get $50 off of your registration. Look, this is a unique opportunity to learn how to build culture of coaching and technology integration within your school district and create career long connections with like minded coaches. So don't delay reserve your spot next to the Ed Tech camp fire today and use that promo code AR AR podcast in all caps to get the $50 off of registration as a dedicated listener to our podcast. And today is going to be an awesome episode because we all just came back from FTTC down in Orlando, and we're excited to talk about it right. Educational Technology conferences are a great way to get a grasp on new instructional strategies, education, technology, tools, and important concepts circulating in the world of education. So several members got the chance to go down there FTTC in Orlando, and we are here to bring you the must know Ed Tech Trends, highlights and everything else that you might have missed from this year's conference. So whether you were there or you were following along on twitter from afar, or you didn't even know FTTC existed before today. This episode is going to bring you a host of new ideas and insights you can support as an instructional coaching role. So we'll be sharing our top tips and anyone who might be new to the sometimes chaotic conference scene will have plans for you on how to attend in the future. So we have on here today, Megan and Michael. Michael is a instructional design coach from Ford Edge supporting a one to one and blended learning initiative in a rural southwest Ohio School District. Michael has attended and presented at many different local, state national and international education educational technology conferences. His driving force in education is to help teachers and students learn to define and achieve what the highest level of success means for them. So welcome in Michael Roush.

Katie Ritter:

Hey guys, good to talk to you again. Yeah, glad to have you, Michael. And I have the pleasure of introducing Megan Whitaker, who you may most recently have heard on the podcast in episode one of our season two inspiring everyone to get out and make something today. So Megan, just to remind you, in case you haven't listened to that episode yet, Megan top, middle and high school Latin for six years before joining the forward edge team. She now serves as a tech coach in a local school district with a special focus on learning in a makerspace. She is a Google Certified Trainer. And she is passionate about helping students and teachers learn by doing to accomplish their goals. Welcome in again, Megan. Thanks, thanks.

Megan Whitacre:

Happy to be here.

Justin Thomas:

All right, so let's get down to it. Right FTTC was an awesome conference down there in Orlando, we all were down there checking out the different sessions presenting everything like that. So just overall, can you share your experience from attending FTTC? And let's start with some of the awesome sessions. What were some really good sessions that you attended, that you're just excited to talk about? And bring back to the team and bring into your school districts?

Megan Whitacre:

Well, I I'll go first, Michael, if that's all right. Um, I had a really I mean, I had a really great time at FTTC. It's one of those conferences that was way larger than I was expecting it to be there were like, gosh, it was like, hundreds and hundreds of sessions, right. So I felt like there were all these segments that I wanted to go to and they were conflicting with other things and I wasn't able to make it. But the one thing that really really stood out to me was actually the keynote on the first day from Sean Aker. Yeah, I know that you really enjoyed it to Justin right. We were sitting next to each

Justin Thomas:

other. We were in Brooklyn, sorry, with Brooke Conklin.

Megan Whitacre:

But he shot acre was talking about his book, The Happiness Project, I think is what it was and it's all about about the power of positivity and how positive thinking literally changes your brain and your students brains so that they can, like, push farther and become more resilient. And it was it was extremely cool. There's actual scientific studies that he was talking about. He also did this really funny psychological experiment, where we had to stare at each other, while one person like held a completely straight face. And then Brooke Conklin would smile at me and look at me with like, really like smiley eyes, while wearing a mask did not matter, you could still tell and I was supposed to, like, not react for two entire minutes, it was impossible, it was impossible, the entire crowd is broke down into giggles immediately, it was really really funny.

Katie Ritter:

I love that because I did not hear that. So this is the first time I'm hearing you guys kind of debrief and share that from the keynote. But I love that too. Because not only for our students, but like, I don't know, same thing for our teachers, I just think of how our teachers feel right now. And like, they feel so defeated. And so as coaches, you know, what a cool thing to take back, you know, to our students, if you will, or our teachers and kind of share that that power of positive thinking, you know, with them to kind of keep them going through the rest of the school year to

Megan Whitacre:

write and it was, I mean, the amazing stuff was it was even stuff just like by adjusting your body and my forcing some smiles, you can start to generate those same kinds of feelings in your brain and it really like, has all of these positive benefits. It was super cool.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah. Okay, so give us give us some of his takeaway tips for like how you adjust your body that we can go back and do with our teachers.

Megan Whitacre:

I mean, it's truly like forcing yourself to smile or forcing your eyes to be open sitting up straight and being open. Like when you do those kinds of things. You're you're you're training your brain to feel happy, which is wild. It's it's like you're you're it's almost like muscle memory at that point. If you keep practicing and keep and keep putting yourself in that position. You can you can totally change and yourself and also influence the people around you.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, did he call it smizing like Tyra Banks did on her top model I think it was

Justin Thomas:

I don't know if I remember that. smizing but one thing that I did like smile with your smile with your eyes okay. But one thing that I really liked too from him was you know, he said this sounds kind of cheesy but send an email to someone every single day for what it was like 2122 days or something like that. Just what what they have done that is really influenced something positive on you and he joked that said you know once you get through like a week then you're like I'm done that's all the people that I know but he said no, you got to keep going and just start sending it to all these different people and and it really does like just start to really make you excited and happy about kind of where you are in life with everyone that's kind of helped get you there.

Katie Ritter:

I will tell you that okay, everyone expects some emails from me in the coming days

Michael Roush:

no I'm gonna before before Megan goes on to something else I gotta jump in on the on the Shawn acre went to just because for me the the thing that resonated after the session with me from him was that that concept of bringing joy to the situations you find yourself in and not looking for it after you get there because you know quite frankly, there may be a lot of situations there's just not a lot of joy in and you can significantly you can significantly impact the you know, the positivity that that is taken away and real positivity not not just a you know, some plastic version that's that comes out of that by by bringing joy to the situation by looking for it. I think I think by the time we left by the time we left there I had pretty well talked everybody into making sure you got on Dr. Jays shuttle bus. Oh, yeah, I believe once. Now you're gonna have to explain that. What joy to His situation to where he was I literally waited past one bus sitting there waiting for passengers and left hoping the next one would be his just have another chance to to write that guy's that guy's bus. He was incredible. You know, and he's, he was doing a job. He was doing the same job that I don't know how many other 30 other people are that we're doing. But he brought such joy to the way he did it. It was just, it was just so much fun to get on his bus and hear him go into his you know, his old DJ better routine and playing. He was playing Kenny G the first morning. It was like it was old Motown tunes in the afternoon. He just he didn't have to do any of that. But he he really brought joy to the situation where he was and it was just it was just so much fun to be in a situation where it was like okay, I get on the bus and go back to the have you back to the hotel or guy and I'm the boss and got out of the convention center now. And it just made it makes such a difference in the way you approached everything.

Katie Ritter:

I love that in the I really liked that concept of like bringing joy because I feel like that was almost kind of a theme through the week. And maybe it was because the keynote, like really kicked it off that way. But Jill Dubois who shout out, she is a second grade teacher, she actually works with us part time. And then she also is an illustrator author, and has started her own company called imparted joy. And the way that she described it when we were sitting at dinner one night, she said, you know, happiness is fleeting, but you cultivate joy and joy is more long term. And you know, it's more sustainable. So anyway, just hearing you guys talk about, you know, the keynote and how he talked about joy. It just kind of reminded me of that conversation that took place in another space throughout the week and made me think of it differently of okay, you know, don't make Don't make yourself don't think about being happy in the moment. But like, how can we long term, find the good find the bright spots to make more sustainable joy in whatever we're doing no matter how big or small? Our role is in the whole system here.

Justin Thomas:

So yeah, and I got two points on that. The first is, I mean, I closed down the expo hall, I think the second day and I was walking, I figured everyone was long gone. You're trying to get those last giveaways. I was I was trying to get the last giveaways. But then I got on the bus. And there's Michael sitting there because it's Dr. J's bus he didn't that was where he purposely waited for the next bus. And I was like, I thought you're going like hours ago. He's like, I got again, Dr. Chase. But so that was, you know, exactly like what you said, were just it was a fun little tidbit that he didn't have to do, but he was doing that. And it was, you know, getting everyone excited and everything, whether they're going to the conference in or if they were heading back to the hotel, and then also just just jail. I mean, she's just so much fun to hang out with. And she is just always cheerful and upbeat and happy. And that definitely spills over into her into her books.

Katie Ritter:

I know. And it was the you know, the first time that we met in person, even though we've all known her for a few years now. So that's always my favorite part is meeting people in person that you've only known online, but I love this whole Dr. J trend. I just wonder like, how can we all bring a little Dr. J to our schools and our roles no matter what our roles are in our schools? How can we create those anticipated moments of joy within our school walls that people look forward to so you know, we we don't have control over a whole lot in education, it feels like but we do have control about like creating those those spaces in those moments of joy that people can come to rely on. So we'd love to hear like what how people start to bring that in the into your schools and into your systems and what your thoughts are on that. So

Justin Thomas:

Michael, did you ever did you ever? I mean, we all kind of talked about the keynote was perfect. But any other sessions that kind of stood out to you that you attend? I

Michael Roush:

did I had a chance to go into a George Soros session. Yep. I didn't even know he was gonna be there. ended up seeing on the list I went in. Now his his book, The Innovators mindset was one that I had read a few years ago, as part of a district book study, we were we were launching into a one to one initiative we were launching into blended learning, we were launching into getting ready to we were going to do a makerspace after that, and so I had read his book pretty thoroughly. Before that. I had seen some videos of his I had never actually heard him speak in person. And so I took the chance to go see his. And the big thing that I really took out of his presentation, which was all just really stellar was the difference between student engagement and student empowerment. That we oftentimes we look for student engagement, we look for ways to to grab students interest, we look for ways to hook them into something, and then transition them into what we already had kind of made ready that we want to we want to get him into. And that's fine. We need to we need to do what what kind of like we were just talking about about making, helping to make school as much of a joyous place as possible for for students, for the people we work with people we work for. But that idea of of tapping into student empowerment. It's it's hard, it's hard to convince students that they have the capacity to change the world when they're still asking for permission to go to the bathroom. And so, George really talked a lot about this idea of student empowerment that if you want if you want students to root to sustain interest, and you don't want to have to keep answering the question every day, why are we doing this? Why does this matter? Let them do something that matters. Have them doing something that really does take into consideration the kind of world they want to build. You can do that in any grade level. You can do that in any subject area. You can do that. You know, with with any student, you have low to high. But that whole idea of, you know, student engagement versus student empowerment. That was just, that was a message that just really settled well with me to take back. Awesome.

Justin Thomas:

Yeah. And I got a chance to attend one of his sessions to, and we were kind of talking about it, Michael, but I mean, he's very much in it as a speaker as like Joseph LeBeau, where you just feel like you're a just go your agents, like run through a brick wall, and get after it. And I mean, he had some really, really great kind of comments and things like that, and talking about how when he was like a principal, you know, he noticed that there's all the the portraits of all the previous principals that are up there, but like, no one ever was looking at it. So he changed that he made it, he took all of them down and put up pictures of the kids in the school. And just, it really was a talking point for the you know, for the school kids would come in and see if they were up on the wall and stuff like that, just things along those lines, he had a really funny quote. And that, because they before he was able to take all those pictures out, people were like, you can't take those pictures down. It's tradition. And he said, tradition is peer pressure from old people. A little bit of a funny quote there that I really liked. But I mean, he really is if you are ever at a conference and you get a chance to see that he's a presenting I definitely would suggest going in and taking a listen because he really is a great speaker and has some really good ideas on on on really, how do we kind of reframe education from the students perspective?

Katie Ritter:

I love it. Justin, what about you, I know you've kind of seen or, you know, added to Megan and Michael here, but is there anything separate from maybe what they've mentioned session, standout sessions that you got to see.

Justin Thomas:

So I really enjoyed both of those sessions, I kind of jumped in there with them on another one that I actually just kind of stumbled upon was one from a social media perspective. And it was a college teachers kindergartner name is Mackenzie southern. She's on Tik Tok as Miss southern. And she had a really cool perspective because she's teaching kindergarteners and, and I mean, there's a young students, right, and they're like, wanting to show her like these tick tock videos and things that they found. And it's one of the things we're you know, you think of social media, and you know, that there's a lot of funny things, a lot of great things out there. But there's also a lot of, you know, not so great things that are put out there. And she realized, I mean, these are my kids, they're not even technically, you know, by social media standards, supposed to be using social media on the age range, but here they are using it. So she kind of took that as a opportunity to make a social media presence that was like for good for students, like a positive role model where students could check out and see like, what she was talking about, and things like that, and just her life as as a as a teacher. Now, she didn't put like your students on social media, but some of the stories that happened in the class, and as we know, those elementary students, it gets wild in there at times. So she just put out all those funny stories and everything like that. And just it was really cool to see that. I mean, she she made a comment that students are going to be using social media, regardless on if you tell them that they can't or can't. So why not take that as an opportunity to do something positive with it, and be kind of a positive role model for the students.

Katie Ritter:

I love it. What kind of tying into Michael, your example with, you know, really empowering the students, right? So really connecting to that real world authenticity for them. Okay, guys, I'm gonna ask you, was there anything that you saw? Like someone else doing? Maybe it was like a PD? I'm thinking like for our coach listeners, right? That might be like, hey, there was this cool activity that I want to do with my teachers when I get back or I really liked the way they led this PD or did did this was there anything like that, that you saw that you thought I'm gonna go back and do this for my teachers?

Michael Roush:

One thing that I can I can jump on on this one. The the timeframe for the workshops for the like, the concurrent sessions is 45 minutes, which for some people feels like a long, long time, until you're actually in there presenting in it. And then like, some odd thing happens with the space time continuum, and 45 minutes turns into about 12 seconds. Yeah, it feels like there was there was a big difference between the presenters who came in trying to put 90 minutes worth of material in 45 minutes. And the presenters who came in understanding what 45 minutes look like, and not trying to do or say too much. And so, and you know, this, this, this may, this may sound like a little, a little bit of shameless colleague promotion but the way the way Justin and Brooke set up their workshop was phenomenal. It was it was kind of a choose your own adventure workshop. They had they had like eight things Ready to go? And it was like, You know what, eight things are not going to fit in 35 minutes. You all who showed up? Or 45 minutes, y'all who showed up? Pick three? Yeah, and and they did and you stuck to the three, and you had a whole lot more that you wanted to say that a whole lot more than you could have said. But you didn't. And people got people got plenty out of what they heard and they had plenty more to take with them. It probably feels a little weird to go in knowing that preparing eight things and I'm not going to use five of them. But so that that just takes a little extra prep on on our part as a so that I mean, that's something that I took with me to take back to the school or I'm working on, you know what, if I need to go into a room with four things ready to go knowing that I'm going to only going to use one of them, that's fine, because the one that I use is going to be the one that's the right one out of that out of that material that I brought in with me. So yeah, i i Obviously I didn't tell Justin, I was gonna say any of that. But that was well, especially, especially since he didn't actually have to say much. Brooks.

Katie Ritter:

No, Mike, Michael, I'm glad that you brought that one up. Yeah, I'm glad that you brought that one up. Because you guys, I mean, you really did do a nice job with that. And from like a tangible tip standpoint, if people are wondering like, how did you choose? They use Mentimeter to have the participants vote. So it was like they gave a super quick preview. Well, Justin, why don't Hello, you were presenting, why don't you like a quick tip to the listeners?

Justin Thomas:

Well, it was one of those things were broken. I when we sat down to do our presentation, we each had, as Brooke said, so many ideas on what we wanted to do. And we looked down, we're like, this is awesome, but I don't think they're gonna give us like a two to three hour time slot. So we purposely did that we made four projects, I have four projects she had, and then we just went in knowing that we weren't going to be able to cover them all. But we knew that overall, the people that were attending the session, I mean, there was other people that are interested in session want to see some of the awesome projects we did. So we kind of turned the keys over to them, and had them use the Mentimeter. So they did a vote on what were their top three projects, they really wanted us to go a little bit more in depth on and then they would still have the other five because we shared our presentation materials, he still the other five that they can use as a reference. And we you know, we put out there to you know, feel free to connect with us on social media and everything like that, if you have questions, if you're wanting to use one of those that we didn't talk about. Or if we did talk about it, you know, you can always reach back out to us and use it. And I'll be you know, because this is one I think that both broken, I want to, you know, submit to other conferences, it would be interesting to see kind of after, you know, if we were able to present this at multiple conferences, kind of if there's some heavy hitters out of those projects, or if it is different almost every time we do it. So yeah, that's kind of a gist of what our keys elementary success was at FTTC. But it was it was a joy working with Brooke and coming up with his awesome projects that we could then share with a room packed full of elementary teachers, but also some instructional coaches, some admin and some library specialists as well.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, awesome. So quick choice to make it. Again, empower your learners to choose what they're learning about no matter the age. This is maybe becoming the theme, I

Justin Thomas:

think so

Megan Whitacre:

together, tie it together, well

Katie Ritter:

done. Megan, what about you? Did you see anything that you're like, I'm taking this back, and I'm using this strategy or this topic or something that other coaches might resonate to want to take back as well?

Megan Whitacre:

Well, I tried to go to a couple of different Makerspace sessions, you know, to stay on brand. But there was one session in particular that I went to where she had before the session even started, she had people logging in and putting virtual stickers on a stick together board, which I don't know if you've ever heard of it, but it's just like a giant, collaborative paint by number and you get in there. And there are a bunch of different letters and you have sticker colors that are virtual stickers, and you put them together on the thing. And so she had, you know, 80 people in this room on this giant peat by number, putting it together, virtually. And then she was like, it's just kind of a mindless thing. So you can do it while we're talking. And I thought it was so brilliant because so then she started having a conversation about mostly elementary making and bringing literacy in the making. But the whole time while she's talking about all these things, and showing all these different examples of books and tools and stuff. We're all like collaboratively making something new that wasn't there before. And that was just like a cool experience to like, send home power of creating something which went along with her whole theme. So I thought that was pretty brilliant.

Katie Ritter:

Very cool. I'm excited to check that out. And we'll link to all of these these things and people that everyone's mentioning in our show notes as well to restart recharge. podcast.com is where you can go to find links All of these things that these guys are talking about and cheering. Okay, we're gonna dig into just a little bit more. And of course, we're going to wrap up with like top three tips to take away from the conference at the end of this recording today. But before we do that, I want to go ahead and take a quick break for our sponsors and we'll be right back.

Justin Thomas:

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Katie Ritter:

Okay, welcome back everyone. We are here with Michael Roush and Megan Whitaker talking about all things from F e tc, which I don't think we said it but it stands for future of education technology conference. So it was just held in Orlando last week, I don't even know if we're all completely unpacked, I'm just barely and well rested from the conference. So we are recording while it's all still fresh in our brains to bring you the best of what we saw to share. So we're just talking about some of the best sessions. And I think we're gonna move on to maybe some things in the vendor for So Justin, I'll let you take it away.

Justin Thomas:

Well, yeah, we know that, you know, conferences, have some really great sessions and keynotes everything like that. But it's also got a giant expo hall with just about every possible educational platform that's ever existed in the world is out there. So just overall, was there anything that stood out to you as you try to navigate through the expansive expo hall that was there at FTTC that really caught your eye?

Megan Whitacre:

Well, I'm going to cheat because this actually was not in the Expo Hall, but they have a representative there who's really big on Twitter will allow it. But if you are not using Canva Canva has a bunch of new updates coming through in these next couple of weeks that they kind of started last week at FPdc. And they're rolling them out. Canva for education is for the foreseeable future. It's free for educators, you just have to get registered with your school email address. And then you can set up classrooms. And you and your students all get Pro features pro graphic design features on Canva. And,

Katie Ritter:

Megan, if I can interrupt you for just a second like elevator pitch, what is Canva? In case someone doesn't know what it is?

Megan Whitacre:

Excellent question. Canva is a free graphic design website, you can make pretty much anything with it. The we use it a lot for we use it a lot in the makerspace for things like creating infographics and videos and social media posts and that sort of stuff. But the cool thing that our wallet, the cool things that are rolling out with Canva are they have started adding in different kinds of data visualization tools. So you can bring in like your Google Sheets, charts and stuff to make some really neat. Again, infographics and posters. They're rolling out tables this week where you can have editable tables. And I did not know this. So I don't know if this is new or old. But I found it out in FTTC. They have a presentation tool that's like a Google Slides tool. But when you're actually presenting with Canva they have all these different crazy keyboard shortcuts that will do things like pop a timer up on the screen, or like create Oh, man, I can't even remember that. I'll link the link the link in the in the show notes with it. This there's so many different functionalities that I thought like if I were still teaching that would be incredible to have this like just one click of a button and I get a five minute timer up and then all of a sudden we're rolling kind of thing. So Canva lots of cool stuff coming out from them free for educators sign up for their school email address. I definitely would recommend I use it all the time.

Katie Ritter:

I love it. I use it all the time. I'm

Justin Thomas:

Michael, what about you?

Michael Roush:

Yeah, mine for me. I knew something was coming. For this one. There's an old favorite tool of mine called Book Creator. There are not a lot of tools out there that I would say, you know, any teacher I ever meet, I would find a way for them to be able to use this tool. Book Creator is one of them. If there is a book about what you teach, Book Creator is a tool you can use It is a it is a great tool for allowing students to create collaboratively electronic books. And so you know, there's the interactive pieces up, you've got the you got text, you got pictures, you've got the design, all that kind of great stuff that goes into a traditional book. But then you can also add in the animations, the video, audio, all of those extra pieces, those multimedia pieces that make you know, an electronic book, super powerful when you're trying to convey information. And so letting students create that stuff is fantastic. And so that's been a favorite tool of mine for a long time. At FTTC, they announced the launch of including some apps, so that you can bring in directly bring in content from other tools, like Google Drive files, giffy, Bitmoji, are two of the other ones that they had. And then the other big E that was in there was Canva. Take Yeah, you can take your your already created. Or you can go jump into Canva, create the graphic that you want for the cover or for an insert or for something, some illustration or something inside your book, drop it right into your book creator book, and you haven't even left the tab. You know, Book Creator still has that way of grabbing that embed code from something or bringing it over into. And you have to kind of get used to that. And it's kind of clunky sometimes how that works. With these new apps that Book Creator has put in, you never even leave the tab, you just grab the content, drop it right into your ebook, and go they've got those four that they've launched. And they said that there are more coming in the very near future. So I'm really excited to see some of the additions that they've put together.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, that's awesome. I bet a lot of people are super excited to hear that I would also like to sincerely apologize for wooing into the microphone, but I was very excited. And I got carried away.

Justin Thomas:

You weren't the only one. I know that. You know, this is podcast, you can't see people's reactions. But Megan's reaction was about my reaction, every animal exhibit at SeaWorld, like mind blown, like what is going on here? And Megan, I can tell Megan's pretty excited about it as well.

Megan Whitacre:

I'm so excited. Yeah.

Katie Ritter:

Justin, what about you? What did you see that you want to share out with the listeners.

Justin Thomas:

So one, one that I actually saw the expo hall it was I walked up, I saw I saw people doing, I was like, I gotta check this out. And it turned out to be something that wasn't what I thought. So I'm walking at the Expo Hall. And there's people that are like jumping and running on these little like plates. And I'm like, Okay, what's going on here. So I remember talking to him, and I'm expecting it to be some sort of like physical education, interactive game that's, you know, hooked into the computer and everything like that. And it was in a way, but it's actually coding that then goes into the games that you play with the, with the pads. It's unruly splats is the name of the program. And definitely not exactly what I initially thought when I went in, but then it turned out to be so much cooler, because it could go with so many different facets, it could be working in like a steam lab, it can work, which is physical education, it can just work in just normal classes where you just want to work with coding. So what you did was, you would create a code, and that code would then be what the program would be for the game. And then for example, the the folks that were demonstrated, so they showed the code and then one of the girls, I feel bad for her like run in place on the on the on the on the splats is what they call him so and then it registered every time that she was clicking on it. So then it showed like how many times she hit it. So it was kind of a cool two part system that really went well together. So had the coding, but then also could be used for more kinds of interactive activities to go along with that coding. So that was kind of a cool one.

Katie Ritter:

Very cool.

Justin Thomas:

Another one that I think we've all been kind of raving about here comes from Microsoft is their translator program that they have. And it was, it's awesome. It's a situation where we could be here talking, and then through like we'd be on Zoom or something we'd be talking and and what would do is we could talk to people in China, and it would come through, and they could talk back in Chinese and they could hear us in Chinese even though we're speaking English. And then they could talk in their native language. And then it comes back to us in English. So a really cool translation feature that allows for just that quick, just discussions with people, they're speaking different languages, but it's just instant on how it can communicate back and forth. Because when we're speaking a certain language, it's picking up and it is registering it out to then be spoken out in a separate language. So if you needed to talk to people in Germany or something like that, we could we could easily do that and communicate just quickly back and forth with it. Yeah,

Katie Ritter:

awesome opportunity to not only support our ESL populations, but also for that global collaboration. Yes, which language can be a real barrier to actually getting kiddos to communicate with each other awesome, those are very cool. Products

Megan Whitacre:

makes me feel like we're live thing in the future? I know.

Katie Ritter:

I know, buckle up for your hoverboards. And yeah. Okay guys, well, that is all awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing your takeaways. But before we go, you know that we like to end with top three tips. So what are the top three tips for someone attending a conference to really get the most out of it? Michael, we'll start with you.

Michael Roush:

Good I get to go first so that if somebody steals mine, it looks like they're copying me because like Justin did the entire

Justin Thomas:

site Nicholas FTTC. Ridiculous. Don't ever tell Michael what you're gonna order at a restaurant because he will seek out the waitress in order first.

Michael Roush:

Okay, my my top three tips, my top three tips for somebody attending a conference, when you are using the conference schedule, whether that's the website or an app, and I'm just assuming that you're using that. To plan what you'd like to attend, do not be afraid to choose multiple things that are going on at the same time. Don't feel like you have to just settle on one thing that you're going to go see at each particular timeframe. Because you know what, there, there can be cancellations, you can get to a room and it's full bore, you know, every now and then just you know, it doesn't happen very often. But every now and then you go to a session and you find out it's just not what you were expecting. And then you're like, Okay, what do I do now. And so if you if you had a couple things in mind that you were going to do in a particular time slot, you know, you can you can jump over to something else. And so don't be afraid to check, you know, to star a couple of different things that are going on at the same time on your schedule. Secondly, and this may sound a little bit opposite of what I just said the Secondly, give yourself some time where you're not scheduled in a session. Give yourself some time to have conversations with other attendees to let things just kind of happen organically, with people that you meet people that you came with people that you met in another session, those new connections, they can turn into Contacts, they can turn into social media contacts, and really kind of really grow your PLN so that the learning keeps going long after you leave the conference space. And the third one that I would tell absolutely everybody that's planning to go to a conference, apply to present, you have something to bring you you have a story to tell you have something that has worked well for you, you know, something that everybody else needs to hear. Even if you you know, even if you don't get accepted, I would say just going through that process of applying is a really good exercise because it makes you formalize what do I want to say what are my takeaways? What how would I teach somebody how to do this? How would I tell somebody about this? How can I best say it and you know what you just might get accepted

Katie Ritter:

Michael frozen, I think his last word was accepted. And I couldn't agree more good tips. And I love that last one, especially Megan will go to you. Next

Megan Whitacre:

well, my three tips for my first tip, I have to echo what Michael said about don't be afraid to Oberstar. But my my little asterisk on that is don't be afraid to get up and leave. If it's not what you thought it was like I know so many, especially if it's your first time conference, people start to feel really awkward about like walking out of room especially if there's maybe not that many people in a room but like presenters expect that some people are going to trickle out as they start talking. Oftentimes, present presentation descriptions are vague session descriptions are not clear. And you came in thinking it was one thing or maybe you came in thinking it was coaches and it turns out, it's directed at principals or it's directed at teachers and you're just not going to get something from that session. There's so much learning that happens during those couple of days that you're at a conference. Nobody wants you to miss out on something because you feel too awkward to leave. So don't be afraid. Find those things that were created. You definitely have options in mind. And you know, don't go out right in the middle when they're in the middle of a sentence. At the beginning, slip on out if you feel like it's not going to be for you. My second My second tip is tour the expo hall I always do find some new gadgets and stuff that I've never heard of before especially if you're in STEM they always have people there with like any kind of robot you can imagine. And like different kinds of physical coding things like the splat things that Justin was talking about. So so much fun stuff to play with. They always have ones that you can actually play with and some things that are really make stem accessible for all ages. And usually there are some pretty fun raffles and some pretty fun swag that you can get in on And then take home, which made great prizes. And then finally, my last tip, which is extremely practical, pack water and snacks, the lines are too long for the coffee shop, pack water and snacks, because you do not want to get stuck waiting in line when there's a really great session going on down the hall.

Katie Ritter:

I love that good session, I have quick tips. Mine is wear comfortable shoes seem self explanatory. But don't bust out even some new flats for the first time while you're there because you get pretty miserable. And I think I'm having a little PTSD right now, because I have a little nerve problem in my foot. So I'm going to be in 10 knees for the foreseeable future. So wear comfortable shoes. My second one is read the description. So to Megan's point, sometimes they are kind of vague, but a lot of times like you get a really catchy session title. And so it draws you in. And if you would have just read the description more carefully, you would have known that this wasn't what you thought it was. But the session title got us because it seemed like something different. So read those descriptions. If you have never applied to present, generally you're presenting, or you're sorry, you're applying many, many months, sometimes six months or even more before the conference, usually six months is actually pretty close to be applying to present. It's almost like a year out, it feels like closer to like nine months to a year that you're actually applying for next year. So sometimes to be fair to the presenters, they have to be somewhat vague, because it's kind of like if I'm accepted, I will flesh this out much deeper. But so read those descriptions, they can clear that up ahead of time for you. And finally make those connections people, people are there generally because they are seeking out information. And they're they're like minded in that regard to you that they want to learn, they want to soak up what they can. So don't be afraid to actually extend your contact information. Like sometimes people are like fairly shy. So you know, you'll get the point pretty quickly if someone's not into talking. And they just need a minute like to themselves because they've done so much talking throughout the day. But don't be afraid to actually extend your contact information, especially exchange those Twitter handles and plan to meet those people in person, Justin, I know you got to do something super cool. So I don't know, if you have any different tips that you would share as

Justin Thomas:

well. It's really kind of a combination of everything that's kind of been said. But definitely make connections I mean network when you're there, kind of to your point, I've been participating the hashtag FTTC chat. So it was cool, because they actually had a meet up where then I got to actually meet in person that people I kind of interacted with, via Twitter. So that was kind of a cool moment. And that was kind of a session to an extent that was planned in there. But definitely something to I mean, just connect with people that I mean, we're all like minded individuals that are there, we're all there to check out some really cool sessions and see what amazing things people are doing in other schools and how we can take that back to our school. So definitely make those connections, agree with all of you on you know, kind of set some sort of a structure for yourself. But don't let that just exactly guide you how you needed to be because I feel like that was, you know, I got the app downloaded and I looked at the sessions I wanted to go and then I ended up going to some other sessions that initially someone talked about and was like, oh, you know, I need to go to that one. And that speaker is a really good person or something like that. So I would say those two things. And then also just have fun and be yourself, especially if you're presenting because I presented virtually for the last several conferences, and this was the first time I've gotten to do in person and I've been just ecstatic for and finally got to do it. And I was just I was pumped up about it. So just be yourself. And like everyone's kind of said here, I mean, apply to present and be a part of the conference in that facet.

Katie Ritter:

Awesome. Well, Megan and Michael, thank you so much for being with us today. We really appreciate all of your insights

Justin Thomas:

you guys had. Absolutely. Well, we talked about FTTC here we're going to now move into our three part miniseries is coming up that's gonna be dropping on March 1, we're going to kick off that three part miniseries talking about all things on building relationships and creating partnerships with administrators to maximize your coaching impact. I am

Katie Ritter:

super excited for that mini series. It is a little bit near and dear to my heart right now. So we'll save that soapbox for the series. With that, be sure to subscribe to restart recharge wherever you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at our our coach caste

Justin Thomas:

and feel free to reach out to us and let us know what topics that you are interested in and just chat with us even if you don't have a topic you're interested in, feel free to reach out and just make that connection. So press the restart button recharge your coaching batteries and leave feeling equipped and inspired to coach fearlessly with the restart recharge podcast

Katie Ritter:

a tech coach collective. You hear them out there?

Justin Thomas:

Yes, rascals.