Thoughts on iSummit 2013

This past week I attended iSummit 2013 at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, with several other colleagues.  As with any conference, this conference had its share of useful and not-so-useful information.  Sitting through 6 sessions and 2 keynote speakers over the course of two days, my mind was fairly numb by the end of the conference, and I’m still trying to process all the information.  For me, one way to do this is to write about it, but when I sat down to do so, there was just too much for me to make one coherent blog post. So instead I’ve listed below the most memorable, thought-provoking, useful, or controversial nuggets I gleaned from the conference.  I would love to hear your thoughts and questions on any or all of this.

(FYI – The links take you to my own blog posts.  I was struck during the conference by how much I’d already written on the things being presented and discussed.)

1. F.A.I.L. = First attempt in learning.  Most teachers teach their students that failure is a part of the learning process, however, how many teachers ascribe to this in their own professional development? How many of us avoid trying anything too “out there” instructionally out of fear of failure? (Ewan McIntosh, @ewanmcintosh)

2. Googleable v. unGoogleable.  In an age where information (too much information?) is readily available to our students, our instructional focus needs to be on the “unGoogleable stuff.” (Ewan McIntosh, @ewanmcintosh)

3. Problem Finding v. Problem Solving.  It’s not enough that we teach our students to be problem solvers; we must also teach them how to find and refine worthy problems to solve. (Ewan McIntosh, @ewanmcintosh)

4. Formative assessment.  Technology makes collecting and analyzing formative assessments incredibly easy.  Formative assessment is assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning. (Holly Chesser, @hollychesser)

5. Gaming can be content heavy and serious, i.e. Serious Games. (Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, @snbeach)

6. Collaboration is important, but how you have students collaborate is just as, if not more, important.  When, how, and why do you have students collaborate?

7. Andrew Church’s Bloom’s Taxonomy Chart.


8. TPACK Model


Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by

9. Leveraging social media. Are you using Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn just to gather links and resources, or are you using social media to truly transform your professional life? (Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, @snbeach)

10.  In an age where information is readily available, teachers have to address the student’s inevitable question, “Who cares?”  Creative people know why they do what they do. (Ewan McIntosh, @ewanmcintosh)

As I wrote above, your comments and questions are welcomed!



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