I have opportunities to attend and participate in many educational conferences each year, and it’s always interesting to compare the scheduling, session mix, atmosphere, and overall experience of these events. Last week was my third time to attend the “Mobile Learning Experience,” organized by the Arizona K-12 Center (@azk12) and Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent,) and this year was the best ever. There are definitely other educational conferences which emphasize mobile learning that are stand-outs. Miami Device (@miamidevice) coming again November 12-13, 2015, also makes this short list. Mobile Learning 2015 was an incredible three day event yet again because:

  1. it attracted a great collection of innovative teachers sharing good ideas
  2. it’s held at an incredibly beautiful and compelling place (Westin La Paloma in Tucson@westinlapaloma)
  3. the schedule is a good mix of keynotes and breakout sessions
  4. the food is amazing
  5. Tony Vincent shares ideas at multiple sessions (Tony is “the Yoda” of mobile learning!)
  6. my wife was able to attend with me, and we stayed an extra day to celebrate our anniversary together!

For the past several years, I’ve used Twitter to “live tweet” my learning during conferences. Including my pre-conference Tweets, for #mobile2015 this added up to 297 different Tweets. Before Twitter, I often posted notes from individual sessions at conferences as blog posts. While I still occasionally do that, I find it’s more useful to amplify ideas “as they are shared” at a conference with Twitter using the conference hashtag, since other people can see, favorite, and retweet those messages easily and more quickly. After an event like Mobile Learning, I like to use Storify to create a selective archive of Tweets I’ve shared along with those of others which documented significant takeaways, learning points and memorable moments. This evening, I used Storify to review over 1000 tweets from #mobile2015 and created a chronological archive of them, which I’m embedding below. In addition to sharing that collection of tweets, I’ll include a few individual ones which stand out for different reasons.

 

First, however, I’ll share the resources from the three breakout sessions I led or co-led at Mobile 2015. My first session was “Visual Notetaking Deepens Learning.” I did use a SlideShare slideshow in the latter part of the presentation, but we started by using the amazing, synchronized videos from @smartereveryday and @veritasium in their joint episode, “The Truth About Toilet Swirl,” to provide participants an opportunity to practice visual notetaking or sketchnoting.

I used the free iOS app “Forge” by Adonit to create my own sketchnotes live during the session as we played these videos, and afterward demonstrated how to use the iPad app “Explain Everything” ($3) to create a narrated sketchnote video. (These are also called whiteboard animations, when they are much fancier.)

The resources from this session are linked on the “Visual Notetaking” page of ShowWithMedia.com, including my slides which I’d last updated for the NCTIES conference in March 2015.

I used the free iOS app “Voice Record Pro” on my iPhone to audio record this session and posted it to YouTube afterward. I may post an mp3 version of this recording later this summer to my secondary podcast channel, “Fuel for Educational Change Agents,” but at this point will just share this YouTube audio version. I love how “Voice Record Pro”, YouTube Capture, and a free YouTube channel can be used in a quick workflow to record and share conference presentation audio like this. The way “Voice Record Pro” permits audio exports as VIDEOS to the iPad photo roll is an awesome and very useful feature!

My second #mobile2015 session was titled, “iPad Books and Videos.” I co-presented this with my wife, Shelly Fryer (@sfryer). We co-led this same session as a 3 hour workshop for Oklahoma A+ Schools in Edmond, Oklahoma, in February. This was the first time Shelly and I have co-presented at a conference together, and it went well. Shelly shared several projects her students created last year to culminate their Black History biography research, including the following iMovie Trailer and Book Creator eBook videos. These are linked in her classroom YouTube channel, which is linked on her classroom website (a Google Site) classroom.shellyfryer.com

Shelly also shared how she started using the free app SeeSaw the last month of the school year to help her students create digital portfolios, and LOVES its feature set.

My last session on Friday was “Geo-Maps for GeoLiteracy,” and all those session links are available on the GeoMap page of ShowWithMedia.com. During the workshop we created a Google Map showing 2000 of the most recent earthquakes worldwide over 1.0 in magnitude. One of the participants created her own Google Map in the session following the same steps, but mapping fossil locations in Arizona. GeoMaps are awesome!

Here are a few other Tweets from the 2015 Mobile Learning Experience which stood out for different reasons.

I love this Adam Bellow quotation shared by Tony Vincent in his Thursday keynote: “Date the tool, Marry the ability.”

The highlight of my Thursday night was definitely seeing the rings of Saturn with my own eyes, thanks to a telescope provided by Arizona Star Tours. Awesome sauce!

I loved the emphasis and research citations Tony Vincent shared on “personal ownership” over devices in 1:1 learning situations. Even when students do not technically “own” a device, it’s possible for students to have psychological ownership by customizing wallpaper, app/icon organization, etc. This is very important!

PromptSmart Pro is an iPad teleprompter app that actually STAYS WITH THE SPEAKER as he/she reads a script for a video. SO cool and useful! (iPrompt Pro is the free teleprompter app I’ve used in the past and in iPad Media Camp workshops.)

Google Tone is a free extension for Google Chrome which functions like the free iOS app Chirp. Use it to send or receive “tones” which link your browser to web addresses.

BookWidgets and Activity Spot By Frolyc are two iPad-based curriculum and activity development tools which I learned about at Mobile 2015 but haven’t had a chance to actually use and play with yet.

Whew! Lots of learning! Is your brain full yet? Mine is!

Last of all, here is the Storify archive of valuable tweets from #mobile2015. If your plans and budget allow, DEFINITELY plan to attend The Mobile Learning Experience 2016!


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