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KS Ed Tech Conference, June 4-5, 2013, Blaisdell

This was my first year at the KS Ed Tech Conference!  I liked some of the fun things they integrated, like slam poetry, Minute to Win It challenges, the Aurasma app, and the scavenger hunt app.  These little things showed the detailed thought they put into the conference and the fun character of the IT Department. Plus it gave me something to do during breaks!  The photos above are challenges from the scavenger hunt.  The lows I will sink to for an extra raffle ticket to win an iPad Mini.... hehehe.  :)

I was really impressed with the keynote speakers that they were able to get for the conference!  All three of them had such great stories, and they were truly inspiring.  Though there were many things to learn from all of the sessions, I'm just going to talk about my thoughts for a couple of them.

Caine's Arcade - Nirvan Mullick

I had read an article on Caine's Arcade a while back, so I was really excited that Nirvan was one of the speakers.  For those who haven't heard of it, take 10 minutes to watch this video.  It will definitely make you smile.   :)   It's about this kid Caine who built an arcade out of cardboard boxes at his dad's shop.  Long story short, his first customer, Nirvan, started a non-profit, Imagination Foundation, and Caine inspired a movement and mindset to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.



The whole story is just inspiring.  What hit me the most though from Nirvan's presentation was when he said that Caine's story and how he built this arcade through his imagination and determination shouldn't be this amazing thing that is so rare that it goes viral on a global scale.  It should be this way for every kid!  All kids should have the opportunity, environment, and encouragement to be creative!

And I'm thinking...yeah!  And not just kids!  Adults too!  Let's commit to this KSDL!  Let's create a work environment that encourages creativity and let's create experiences and opportunities for our learners to be creative!

Some valuable lessons shared by Nirvan and Caine:

Caine's Lessons Learned - Written on a barf bag on his way back from an event in Cannes, France.


  • Be nice to customers
  • Do a business that is fun
  • Do not give up
  • Start with what you have
  • Use recycled stuff











 Nirvan's Lessons Learned

  • Every child is gifted
  • Power of the community
  • Take every moment
  • Always get the fun pass
  • Power of stories

 

Video for Project-Based Learning - Michael Wesch

I had heard Michael Wesch speak at a different conference a couple years ago.  He is a modern anthropologist and professor at Kansas State University that does some "unconventional" things, and that's what makes him so awesome.  This session was about a documentary video project he did with some of his students.  He and a small group of his students lived in a retirement community for a semester.  They learned the art of shooting documentaries as they interviewed and captured the lives of their elderly cohabitants. I walked away thinking about the relationships that were formed between the residents of the retirement community and the college students.  This is something all of them will remember for the rest of their lives. 

I would love to get our learners to make real-world connections through our courses and capture them through multimedia so others can get a fuller understanding of their experience.  Dr. Wesch talked to his students about capturing all of the senses when they shoot their films.  This is what video can do!



Smile Because it Happened from Michael Wesch on Vimeo.

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