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Bytes of knowledge
Posted on 11/04/2020
Bytes of knowledge
On the statewide Teacher Professional Day, Oct. 30, the Curriculum and Digital Learning department hosted the third annual Orange Educational Technology Conference - virtually. With two separate keynote speakers and 70 sessions offered throughout the day, participants had to choose their six breakout sessions wisely.

More than 400 participants logged in to this free educational conference. Like most conferences, there were vendors booths for teachers to “stop by” and see what they had to offer. In true 2020 fashion, vendors created a Google bitmoji booth and provided swag items, like pens, Post-it notes and posters for participant bags. The e-hall is open until Jan. 4. Teachers can visit the booths to learn more about the resources each vendor offers - all of which the district provides on LaunchPad.

The morning keynote speaker, Thomas C. Murray, Future Ready Schools’ director of innovation, inspired attendees to remember why they chose the teaching profession and to remember that each person has a hidden story. When educators create a culture for learning with compassion and empathy, students thrive. 

“The best thing that we can give kids this school year is not a new curriculum or technology. It's an empathetic heart that sees and hears theirs,” Murray said.

The afternoon keynote speaker, Braydon Moreno, Robo 3D president and co-founder, encouraged educators to explore 3D printing as a means of unlocking students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. As the world enters the fourth Industrial Revolution, according to Moreno, schools need to prepare students for success in STEM-related careers. Designing for 3D printers teaches students these vital skills. For those interested in exploring 3D curriculum, check out mystemkits.com and tinkercad.com

Fellow OCPS educators and industry professionals taught breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics across grade levels. From Minecraft EDU and Flipgrid to Nearpod and SMART Technologies to Google forms and Microsoft Teams, the courses focused on items teachers could learn and immediately incorporate into their lessons. 

Sound awesome and sad you missed it? Guess what, you are in luck. Digital learning linked resources from each participant to their session title in the OETC e-program. Check It out!

“This year's conference is proof that great things can come out of a crisis. We have historically had our conference face-to-face in the late spring each year, but the pandemic changed our plans and pushed the event to a virtual format in the fall. That change turned out to be a huge benefit because staff had more flexibility to attend the conference and use what they learned to help students now and not next year,” Mariel Milano, Digital Curriculum director, said.