How to Choose Sessions at #macul18

Mar 7, 2018 by

Every year I have the privilege of helping several teachers from my school district prepare for the annual Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference. It’s one of the largest Ed Tech conferences in the midwest, and it’s always been home to an eclectic range of sessions focused on everything from pure tech to deeper pedagogical thought. I help secure funding for my teachers, arrange hotels for them, provide support for registration, and review the sessions and presenters in hopes to steer them towards sessions that hit on current district initiatives and goals.

The trouble I run into is when there are far too many sessions to choose from (a big problem), or a teacher isn’t sure about what to pursue based on their own interests. The MACUL conference can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to get lost in all the enticing session titles. Often attendees have a good idea of what they might be interested in, but there’s always a strong need to identify what you need to get out of a session.

That’s why I put together a simple self-evaluation tool for the use of instructional technology with the help of SAMR, a model designed to help educators determine their current level of instructional technology use (Andy Losik would be proud of me for finally finding a use for the model….which often is tossed around as a cure all for many ed tech issues). The tool I put together isn’t complete, it’s more of a rubric for how to look at some of the most popular uses of instructional technology (Blended Learning, Productivity, etc.) that anyone could use as a scaffold for other uses. It’s been helpful for me when I work with teachers, and it’s certainly been helpful for teachers that want to “up their game” when it comes to using technology as a tools for modification and redefinition of learning, rather than just substitution for paper-based learning.

You can find the self evaluation tool here in Google Docs.





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