Wednesday, February 22, 2017

TIF Talks Return

We will be having our Second TIF Talks presentation series at SUNY Fredonia's Science Center.  Taking a cue from the ever popular TED Talks we have put our own spin to this concept by having educators from around the area talk about education relevant topics in under 22 minutes.  We will be having the event streamed for those who are unable to make the presentations.

Want to register or learn more about the speakers and their presentations?  Click HERE

WHEN:  May 24th
TIME- 9am-2:30PM
WHERE:  SUNY Fredonia Science Center

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Superheros, Escape "Rooms", Astronauts, Robots & Minecraft...All of these topics were part of this year's Annual NYSCATE Conference. This year's conference was one of the best! Each year I am amazed by what fellow Educators are doing in their classrooms. From gaming, collaborations and Google! The theme this year was "Unleash the Superhero in you". This theme was very fitting as each and every attendee is a superhero in their own way every day. We all were challenged this year to take risks and step outside of our comfort zone. This year's opening Keynote was given by the co-founder and CEO of Breakout EDU. Adam's inspirational keynote spoke the truth about some of the educational pitfalls we find ourselves dealing with on a daily basis. Adam offered multiple sessions where participants were able to experience Breakout EDU, the immersive learning games platform that is taking schools by storm. In these sessions participants played a Breakout EDU game with other attendees and using collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication to break beat the clock and break into the Breakout EDU box. These sessions filled up fast and were difficult to get into. The Keynote speaker on Monday was former astronaut, Michael Massimino. If you're a Big Bang Theory fan, like I am, you may have seen Mike Massimino play the role of, himself. He shared his story, which highlighted the perseverance he had to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. After being turned down three times, he continued to persevere, and it payed off when he was accepted on his fourth application to NASA. He shared pictures, experiences and stories that made me want to be an astronaut! The plethora of sessions offered never disappoints at NYSCATE. From virtual worlds, gamification, Google, Coffee Breakout, EDU Breakout, etc. The options offered by so many innovative, risk taking educators is beyond what anyone could be looking for. I found myself, more than once, having to choose between too many good sessions to go to. If only I could attend them all!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Technology Integrator's Forum South Returns!

On October 19th, TIF South brought back educators from around Western New York to share their great ideas and new tech tools.

We started our day with a discussion based around the recent TED Talk from Salman Khan about Mastery Learning in in the 21st Century.

There was a lot of great dialogue and I think most people were in agreement with the possibilities that Salman Khan advocated for, but not sure if American Education will embrace the change in any sort of dramatic fashion.  Good food for thought for any education circle!

We then transitioned into our first ever "Open Mic" session whereby educators get to share their favorite idea of tech tool.  We used the "Teach Meet" Concept that I discovered at the ISTE 2016 Conference and found teachers willing to share easily.  We took this concept into the afternoon because we had such fantastic sharing!

You can get your own copy of our notes and resources linked HERE

Rob Miller sharing his expertise about Genius Hour

TIF Members intently listening to Open Mic Sessions

Our Afternoon session was meant to have a theme based on Halloween, so we chose the notion of Edtech "Nightmares"  and how to fix them.  The session was free wheeling and fun, but sadly we didn't take lots of notes.   However, it did spur an idea, of for future discussion, such as "Ask the Edtech Experts"session of TIF for the future.

We finished our session with a Quizizz Quiz for the participants to test their knowledge of the topics we discussed.

Special thanks to Kim Powell, who brought some homemade cookies and some Pumpkin Muffins.   Scrumptious!  Jason Hammond brought some delicious Delicous Apples and locally produced Apple Cider!   

It was a fantastic day and we are looking forward to our session on November 16th, 2016 .  We are hoping to have some SUNY Fredonia students talk about their Edtech uses and ideas.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Time for Personalized PD is Now

Have you noticed that the world around us is evolving and advancing at an extremely rapid pace? Take a look at the MIT Technology Review top 10 breakthrough technologies over the past years. Yep, “Robots That Teach Each Other” caught my eye too! History supports that school systems are not keeping up with this pace. It can become overwhelming to try. Integrating technology effectively and in innovative ways will certainly help but, I don’t believe we necessarily should have to keep pace with the development of the world around us. Our focus must remain on nurturing learning. If we are creating opportunities and environments for our students that allow them to thrive in this rapidly advancing society when they graduate, we are serving them well. The term “future ready” sticks out.

The new 2016 ISTE Student Standards highlight key skills needed by students to be prepared for the future. What I also believe we need to do is be willing to take risks, be willing to step out of our comfort zone and be willing to accelerate our own learning. I hear it over and over again: to transform student learning experiences we must open up to student voice and allow for student choice. Shouldn’t the same hold true for educators? To transform teaching experiences, we must make room for teacher voice and teacher choice in professional learning. Mandated professional development sessions are often not well received for missing this aspect. To truly move forward, one must personalize and drive their own PD. Doing so can also offer another challenge: a sea of choice. It may even become easy to drown in this sea of choice. A recent blog post by Lisa Westman provided the following stats:
  • 353 - number of weekly education Twitter chats
  • 2174 - number of EdTech Products available for educators (most with PD/training options)
  • 4,050,0000 - number of Google Search results for "Instructional Strategies"
  • Too many to count - number of EdCamps, Voxer Chats, Pinterest boards, books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube tutorials, etc.
Where does one turn to narrow their focus? For me, Twitter is the one stop shop for 24/7 access to personalized PD needs. Twitter has led me to forward thinking educators, authentic projects, blogs and chats that push my thinking and allow me to discover new resources and ideas.

Here is a list of my favorite PD resources that I discovered (many through Twitter):

While the above list is full of high-quality, powerful, on-demand, personalized PD, it is difficult for them to pack the same punch as an in-person learning community that connects throughout the school year and beyond. This community exists with Technology Integrators Forum. TIF is also the life jacket that can help keep one afloat in a sea of choice. Some of the best content is curated and shared by members of the group.

If you are an educator looking to share your voice and be offered an opportunity for personal choice, TIF is for you. You also will take risks, engage in quality discussion, accelerate learning, and even get time and space to explore new ideas and tools. A form is already circulating seeking teacher voice! Let yours be heard. Take a break from mandated PD and personalize your PD with TIF. We would be thrilled for you to jump into a sea of learning and join our growing community of passionate educators looking to grow professionally.

However you choose to personalize your PD this school year, I hope that you follow your passion, learn something new and pass it on to those students who will soon be entering that rapidly advancing society. If we take this approach, we are on the path to preparing our students to stay afloat and even get ahead in a world where "robots that teach each other" is a norm. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back To School Edition: TIF Wants You

Hello Teachers of Western New York and Beyond!

Our goal for the Technology Integrator's Forum is to showcase the amazing educators in WNY using edtech to empower their students, and enhance their pedagogy.

This years' forum is going to meet on the Following Schedule (You can register by clicking the Links)

TIF North (Technology Integrators' Forum)
All sessions will take place at the Erie 1 BOCES Education Campus from 9 AM - 3 PM.
Click on the dates below to register.






TIF South (Technology Integrators' Forum)
All sessions will take place at the Wheelock School, 75 Chestnut Street in Fredonia, from 9 AM - 3 PM.
Click on the dates below to register.





3/15/17  (TIF Talks Sessions)

One element of the forum has remained clear:  We are only as good as our membership.   If you look at our Google Plus Site, our membership has been growing exponentially, and our participation has been exceptional.   Last year, our Edcamp Session and TIF Talk sessions were truly exceptional and we aim to bring those sessions back and make them even better by leveraging livestreaming and new venues.

As it stands now.... we need your feedback.  Tell us what you would like to learn about, propose an idea, propose a presentation.   Please use the survey link below.

Looking forward to a great year!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

#TIFcon16 Coming Soon!

Our Second Annual Tifcon16 is coming on June 8th, 2016.  This year's event will be at SUNY Fredonia's new Science Building!

What exactly IS TIFcon?  Watch the video below to find out.

It's not too late to register!  Please click HERE 

** Light Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

Have Questions?  Contact Andrew Wheelock Email:  HERE  Phone:  716-467.1341

Want to keep track of the sessions?  Follow us on Twitter at #tifcon16

We took a tour of the Science Center and Mike Drezek took some really great pictures of this fantastic space.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Coffee with a Geek Talks with Eric Curts

If you are a school using Google Apps for Education (#GAFE) following Eric Curts' work is a must!  Eric offers a treasure trove of helpful hints, quality pedagogy ideas, and creative solutions to everyday educational challenges.

Check out Eric's Blog, his website, and follow him on Twitter.

I had a great chance to talk with him recently about all the fantastic work he does.