Back to SUECON 2015 Thoughts

This past weekend I had the opportunity to head Back to SUECON 2015 in St. George. You can learn a bit more about the history of this conference here. I love attending this conference because of the great content, the chance to visit with educators from the southern part of the state, and the opportunity to visit with my grandmother, aunts and uncles. Of course, the weather is always a nice plus too. Now, back to the content this year and a few things I learned that I’d like to share with you. I was able to attend NearPod for Admins, Tech Tools to Challenge Gender Stereotypes, Changing the Narrative on Public Education – Saturday Keynote, Lessons Learned from Finland, and Students and the Target Language. I also presented a couple of sessions called Time Travel Now and spent some time at the UCET table.

I learned NearPod can be used for faculty meetings to help participants stay on topic and to gather feedback on faculty decisions in the moment. Also, you can add in a NearPod activity on the fly rather than have the whole presentation planned out in advance. I was challenged to rethink which technologies to use with young people of either gender to help expand their learning. You can challenge your own thinking by learning more about this topic through Michael’s post here. Tami Pyfer displayed grace under pressure when the tech went awry during her keynote. I love that she is helping educators understand how to challenge what is being said in the media and meetings around the state. I should have looked a bit more closely at the other two presentations she had this last weekend. If you are not following @tpyfer on Twitter, you really should. One of the biggest takeaways I got from the Finland session is how willing they are to learn from educators that come to visit them. I was also just a smidgen envious of the presenters’ trip. You can view Natalie and John’s presentation via Prezi and start saving to join the 2017 trip back to Finland. In the last session I attended, I had fun working with some language teachers to practice the Info Gap technique through a series of worksheets. I was paired with a French teacher who had some Spanish in high school. I speak no French beyond Bonjour! I enjoyed speaking a language I hadn’t practiced before and just listening to different ways to teach. For those readers that may not know me, I’m actually a database trained techie geek who occasionally teaches community ed classes on iPad basics and Microsoft Office. I need all the help I can get to figure out how to teach better as it is not something I’ve been trained to do. I think this is why I found the last session so much fun. It was completely unrelated to my daily job duties.

If you’re wondering what I might have used in my Time Travel Now presentation, wonder no more. I really love I reviewed some of the principles I learned through their courses on Time Management Fundamentals and Going Paperless. I also showed an example or two from The Together Group – 9 Steps to Get Started. Another resource I’ve used in the past are Vicki Davis’ posts on Time Management and Productivity with her Cool Cat Teacher Blog. She has several so you’ll want to do a quick search to see which might be most beneficial for you. Now, the apps I’ve found most helpful in managing my time are Mailbox app, Google Calendar through Calendars 5, Evernote, Scanner Pro and Notability. I’ve also gotten very fond of saying “Hey Siri, email work subject to do” and then stating my to do item. This gets my to do out of my head (never use your mind as a gathering place) and into my email where I’ll see it and add it to my calendar somewhere. If it’s on the calendar it’s much more likely to actually get completed. Well, I think that’s all I have for today folks. Please let me know if you find my suggestions useful or if you have any other questions. Also, don’t forget to join us tonight for the #utedchat on #suecon2015 Highlights. You’ll be able to learn from the conference even if you couldn’t make it down. Take care and have a great day!

Tricia Jackson

Tricia Jackson has worked for Park City School District since 2005. In July 2013 she moved from Education Technology Specialist to Online Learning Administrator. She has been a member of the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) Board since 2008; becoming Past President in 2015. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Spanish at Utah State University. Lesley University awarded her a Master of Technology in Education in the spring of 2011. Over the last few years, Tricia worked on the Awards, Grants, Program, Conference Credit, and Registration committees for UCET. This work includes: streamlining communication methods, implementing folder structures and naming conventions, using Add-ons in Google Spreadsheets to review and process member submissions to reduce paperwork, continuing refinement of the program creation process via Sched, creating participant and vendor registration forms via BlackPlum, and updating various webpages. She was also instrumental in bringing Jay McFarland and Vicki Davis to UCET 2015 as Keynote Speakers. Tricia enjoyed presenting on time management at SUECON 2015 (

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