IT Summit 12

I had a lot of fun at this year’s IT Summit put up by Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.  I’m told most years the summit can be geared more toward the educational resource side of things, but this year, I got lucky and they decided to make it all about IT.  It was all about incorporating IT into classrooms (and keeping it out when appropriate lol), supporting school networks, network security in an educational institution, and planned expansion and upgrades to the Saskatchewan school networks, both mainstream and non (the non being the Christian school system and on-reserve school system).

I got to hang with other techs who support schools, see some great presentations, pick up some sweet swag, and I came to a very important conclusion about my own personal career goals.

What’s that, you ask?  Well, I have come to the conclusion that I want to focus my career on education technology.  I love supporting the schools.  While I may not always love working with some of the teachers (har har), I do love working with most of them.  I love learning.  I love that they do too.  I love that we are working together (in theory and an ideal world lol) to educate the kids on their reserves and hopefully ensuring they’re prepared for the world outside of the rez.

So yeah.

Other than that, here are two online writing tools I gleaned from the summit I thought I’d share with you guys … These were a hit with my kids, so you know they’re good.  (My girl is 13, and my boy is 8 FYI.)


Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.
Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. They’re curiously fun.

Storybirds make use of gorgeous digital art donated to the site, and the child writes entire stories inspired by the art.  The idea is that we aren’t limited to a blank page to start a story.  We can start with an image for inspiration and go from there, even if someone else has used it first.  I mean, if we examine that idea, it can be said that it’s been done before millions of times with music.  How many authors quote song lyrics in their works?  Yeah … I know.  :)

As an educator you aren’t limited to random stories either.  You can start with a lesson and go from there.  Have a visual learner who is having difficulty with math?  Try having them do a story about adding unicorns.  It was done, and adorably so by one of the presenter’s students.  Loved it!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh MY STORYMAKER

My Storymaker is a flash based story maker that is somewhat similar to Storybird in that it the child makes a story using provided elements.  In this case, Storymaker provides a background, characters and plot elements such as actions and emotions for the characters.  When one element is added, it affects the story and other characters; it’s really a brilliant little program.

It’s more of a game for storytelling than Storybird, less freedom and control in the overall story, but my boy really enjoyed it as he’s a bit of a gamer. Plus it has REALLY cute characters.

NOTE:  Now, to be honest, there were a LOT more I learned about at the summit, but I went and forgot about them since it took me so long to get around to writing/posting this.  :P  Sorry.  If I ever do remember any of them (I’m certain I wrote them down in my notes that I took during the summit, but they’re at the office), I will make sure to update this post.  If you feel you’d like to learn more of them if and when I remember, make sure you subscribe to this post.  :)

2 responses

  1. Jenn

    Sweet baby jaysus! You updated and I didn’t even have to speak from the blog! HAHAHA. Good to know you are still alive.

    July 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

  2. Jenn

    I see no new posts. Must I resurrect the Voice of The Blog?

    July 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

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