Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sponsorship Offer to Present at ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia

A few months ago, I received an email from a representative of Class Dojo which asked if I would be interested in presenting at ISTE and included a short survey to complete. I immediately responded and was thrilled when a few days later I received an email response. Since I have never presented at a conference as large as ISTE, I had stated that I would be willing to present alone or with a group. Following a few emails with the Class Dojo representative, I was put in contact with a fellow educator in Philadelphia who was also interested in presenting on the topic of parent involvement.

A week later, we met at Starbucks and discussed how we would want to present. My new partner was a school psychologist so we actually played off each other nicely. He will talk about the psychological benefits of positive communication and I will demonstrate how to use different types of technology and websites to make that communication efficient for all involved. After a few hours and many refills, we had a basic idea of what we wanted to present. We emailed back and forth a few more times with both Class Dojo and ISTE before submitting our proposal.

Unfortunately we were not selected to present at ISTE. Just being sponsored does not guarantee a spot within the conference but it was exciting to know that I have begun building up enough of a reputation to even be asked. Class Dojo is still considering a sponsorship for my attendance at ISTE, however it will not be a full sponsorship so I will be looking to find a way to fund the rest of my admission.

If you have not used Class Dojo with your classroom, I recommend checking it out. The website has been around for a few years now but they are still improving all the time. They listen to teacher feedback and make changes based on popular requests. If you teach elementary or middle school, your students might enjoy the personalized monsters they can create. High school teachers? If you think the avatars are too "babyish" for your students, you can import actual photos of your students.

Class Dojo also allows your parents to connect and allows for easy communication. Parents can sign up for accounts which allow them to monitor their students. Many of my parents have loved it. I'll admit that some days I'm more consistent with my points than others, but it really helps with tracking behaviors in the classroom.

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