McKinney ISD


Third Annual MISD Converge Conference Explores Technology and Learning

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

McKinney, Texas – More than 550 teachers, instructional coaches, administrators and parents assembled at McKinney Boyd High School for the third annual Camp Converge Digital Learning Festival on June 21–22 for two days of collaboration and learning about the role of technology in the learning process—and how to put it to work most effectively for our students.

To be certain, the focus was on technology, but Converge is not about bells and whistles and gadgets. The goal was innovation in the classroom, and technology is a tool that opens pathways to implement new ideas and new approaches that engage students in learning.

Close up of Camp Converge Breakout Session sign.

McKinney ISD hosted its third annual Converge conference on June 21 and 22 at McKinney Boyd High School.

“In my opinion, 2017’s Converge conference was the best yet,” said Lara Lindsey, McKinney ISD director of instructional technology. “We’ve successfully created an atmosphere of collegial, innovative collaboration, and people were really enthusiastic to be a part of it.”

Day 1 featured keynote speaker Monica Martinez, who serves as regional director for EdTechTeam. Martinez is an authority on current technology trends and how they can be utilized to enhance learning. George Couros, author of the book “The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent and Lead a Culture of Diversity,” was the featured speaker for Day 2. Couros is a sought after presenter, an expert on innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the world.

Monica Martinez onstage speaking

Monica Martinez

Following each day’s keynote presentation, Converge participants chose from a lengthy list of breakout sessions with titles that ranged from “Google Expeditions with iPads” to “Pow! Duck Tape MacGyver Wow!” The structure was designed to give teachers the opportunity to learn from other teachers about innovative technology implementation and approaches.

Day 2 featured a well-received Q&A panel comprised of the people that all of this was ultimately intended to benefit — MISD students. And, this year’s conference also saw the launch of the MISD Innovative Educators Academy (IEA), an initiative designed to “develop a visionary group of teachers and leaders as experts in instructional technology.”

George Couros speaking in front of the audience

George Couros

“The IEA is a group of teachers who submitted applications as teams to be part of a year-long cohort to build capacity with innovation and instructional technology on their campuses,” said Lindsey. “They will be using George Couros’s book and will spend time working with an Apple coach on using Apple tools to maximize instructional practices.”

Technology serves as a tool to enhance and transform student learning. But, like any other tool, its value is only realized when it is put to work to craft something inspiring and innovative—when it is wielded by a master craftsman.

Converge is there to help teachers take hold of that technology, to hone their craft—and create something truly remarkable.

More photos from the 2017 MISD Camp Converge Digital Festival:

Overhead view of teachers signing in to conference

Man playing reveille on a bugle

MISD Supt. Dr. Rick McDaniel speaks at the podium

Dr. Rick McDaniel and George Curos in front of the stage sharing a laugh

Teacher in the hallway looking at laptop next to a Camp Converge sign that says, "Maker Space."

Group of teachers taking a selfie in the hallway

Two teachers in the maker space session smiling at the camera

Teacher leaning over another to point out something on a laptop

Teachers conferring while looking at a laptop

Two teachers sitting on the floor talking about the content on an iPad

Three teachers in the hall making a human pyramid

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