Monday, March 9, 2015

Tenth Annual Minnetonka Technology Site Visit a Success!

Watch a video overview

Last week, 150 educators from the Midwest toured Minnetonka Public Schools to see how teachers accelerate learning with technology.  They had the opportunity to see technology integration firsthand in PreK-12 grade classrooms, witness proven programs, and gather innovative ideas from our teachers, administrators, students, and technology staff to take back to their own school. The full program agenda is like a digital treasure chest of links to all of the resources, handouts, and presentations from event.  I'd encourage you to look through it!  You will likely find all sorts of valuable information that you can use even if you weren't on site.  You can also search #TonkaTech on Twitter.
Some photos of visitors touring Minnetonka classrooms.  See more
Wednesday, March 4, was our tour day.  Visitors chose two of four school tours, seeing one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  They werwe able to explore technology in all subject areas, including Chinese and Spanish Language immersion, early childhood, special education, Tonka Online, Tonka<codes>and the arts.  At the secondary level, they experienced Minnetonka's digital learning cycle for a 1:1 iPad program (recognized as a 2013-15 Apple Distinguished Program) and also toured our Vantage facilities. Classroom visits and mini-sessions provided direct interaction with teachers and students.  We bused visitors between sites and enjoyed a lunch all together during which our Superintendent and Executive Director of Technology spoke.  Sponsors helped cover the costs and and provided some nice raffle prizes for attendees.  Check out the full program agenda, including details about each classroom stop.

On Thursday, March 5, visitors took an in depth dive into the behind the scenes details, spending the day attending a wide variety of small group sessions led by Minnetonka instructional technology staff, teacher leaders, District administrators, and Technology Department staff to learn how things work behind the scenes, from the planning to the professional development.  We shared the best practices and tips and tricks we have learned for implementing meaningful technology integration that will accelerate learning.  The morning keynote, Minnetonka Innovates, was given by Assistant Superintendent Eric Schneider, and provided visitors with an overview of how Minnetonka's crowd-sourced, grassroots innovation process works and keeps us continually improving.  Be sure to look through the full program agenda to access all of the presentations and content from each breakout session.  Over lunch attendees were with District staff members for Q & A.  Once again, sponsors helped cover the costs and and provided some nice raffle prizes for attendees.  

Fourth Annual Summer Technology Institute June 17-18

I hope you will recruit your staff to present at and attend our Fourth Annual Summer Technology Institute June 17-18, as well at the entire week of learning June 15-18 at our Summer Leadership Institute.  Thomas MurrayDigital Learning Director at Alliance for Excellent Education and founder of #EdTechChat, will keynote on June 18.  Greg Kulowiec and Beth Holland from EdTechTeacher will lead AppSmashing and Elementary iPad workshops on June 17 and breakout sessions on June 18.  Minnesota TIES staff will also lead preconference and breakout sessions, plus all the other presenters and attendees will make this year’s conference a great event!  The conference will encompass all ed tech- Google, Schoology, Chromebooks, Moodle, iPads, and much more!  Register today!

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