2016 Tech Boot Camp Initial Thoughts & Reflections

Organizing a week-long professional learning “Boot Camp,” that featured 72 instructional technology sessions, on 36 different topics, that included a keynote speaker and both student and parent sessions took lots of planning by many people. To pull off such an undertaking, many more people found time during their summer break to plan and prep for sessions and some actually cut short summer vacations to attend. In the end, the air condition kept us cool, the wifi was fast, and by all accounts, everyone had fun, connected with colleagues [new and old], and learned new skills to take back to the classroom.

We took the best of last year’s Tech Boot Camp and studied the feedback from our participants to create, what we believe, was a great week of professional learning. In keeping with our goals of offering and utilizing CHOICE (Constant Progress, Honoring Professionals, Ongoing, Individualized, Collaborative, and Energizing) sessions, the 2016 Technology Boot Camp at Garnet Valley welcomed 336 participates, including administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents. PD Sessions ranged from “Becoming a Certified Digital Educator” and “Introduction to Schoology” for teachers new to technology, to “Breaking Down the Walls of Your Classroom with Blogging,” and “Launching 20% Time,” for those more seasoned. Additions to this year’s Tech Boot Camp included a Keynote Speaker – Fox Business School’s Dr. Darin Kapanjie (@kapanjie), who provided excellent insight into what universities want in high school graduates and what potential employers require from those graduating college. Dr. Kapanjie’s passion for learning was obvious, as was his knowledge of future learning environments, but what stood out to me was the importance digital resources and video play in today’s undergraduate and graduate programs.  Sometimes we incorrectly assume college professors stand and deliver their lectures like so many years ago. But seeing that the modern college classroom is collaborative and interactive was both inspirational and encouraging to our K-12 faculty.

We will begin to analyze the feedback provided by our participants and build follow up PD throughout the year. With school beginning in less than 1 week, I’m excited to see our teachers apply what they learned at this year’s Boot Camp.