Reflections from NETA 2019

2019 NETA Reflections

This year, 35 Westside teachers and administrators joined over 2,000 others at the 2019 NETA conference. This year also marks my last on the NETA board. At the spring conference, I finished out my term as Past-President and have rolled off the board. At the same time, another Westside staff member, Paul Lindgren, was elected to the board. Westside has a rich tradition of serving on the NETA board and Paul will do well to represent us!

I encourage you to take a look at the reflections below. There are a TON of great tips, tricks and things that make you go “hmm”. I guarantee you’ll see something new to try in your classroom.

Elementary Reflections   |   Secondary Reflections |   District Level Reflections


Jenny Henningsen

Keynote is the presentation tool of choice for many of my students. I often wished that there were more ways for students to customize slides to make them interactive and visually interesting for the audience.

In a workshop run by Apple presenters I learned how to create a GIF in keyone, animate objects, make my own template and then save it to be used again and again, and I also learned how to create transitions with animations. I will have my students explore these options in keynote and they will be able to add these elements.

Adobe Spark is a resource that I will use in my classrooms as it visually amazing and will engage my students. I was a bit confused about how to make accounts for my students since they are under the age of 13, but I thought that this was something that the tech team could assist us with. The session I attended for Adobe showcased how educators and students can use Spark daily. This session just scratched the surface, as there are so many ways this will enhance projects.

These are just two of the many ideas that were presented at NETA 19. I appreciated how the sessions were fast paced and allowed for us to learn ideas to take back on Monday.

Matt Kock

Have you ever…….

• Had your students go to a website and sign up to use the site using their school email?

• Had students create accounts for an app that you wanted to use with your class to to do a school project?

• Read the privacy policy of any app or website that you have had your students use in your classroom?

I am guessing that if you are like me and have used technology at all in your classroom your answers probably went something like this, “Yes, Yes, and. No?”

I ask these questions to hopefully trigger an awareness that we have all been doing it wrong. In this day and age it is time that we make knowing the policies of the companies, with whom we associate our information, part of our vetting process. Especially when it involves the lives and information of our students.

If you enjoy using technology in your classroom and especially if you love to try new things with your students I encourage you to use the following links. They will take you to the Common Sense Media website where you can learn a little more about things like COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Act. Which, by the way, has been around since April of 2000. There is a link to a report published by Common Sense titled, The State of EdTech Privacy. Lastly, a link to Common Sense Media’s very own Privacy Evaluations, were they have rated the privacy policies of hundreds of apps and websites so that you can make more informed decisions about what tech your students are using.

Student Privacy is something we should all be aware of. Check out the following links to become a more informed tech teacher.

Common Sense Media – @
Be familiar with what COPPA is and what it means: definition/COPPA-Childrens-Online-Privacy-Protection-Act

State of Ed Tech Privacy Report: by Common Sense Media You can find a summary of the report and a link to the full report by using the following link.

Privacy evaluation innovative:

A coordinated effort to evaluate edtech tools, protect student privacy, and build in safety and security from the start.

Privacy Evaluations: by Common Sense Media

Help protect student data. Use our privacy evaluations before choosing edtech tools for your school.

As part of the Common Sense Privacy Evaluation Initiative, privacy evaluations break down complex privacy policies and help you make informed choices to protect student information online. Our privacy team goes beyond the requirements of COPPA, FERPA, PPRA, and other federal and state privacy regulations. We consider a broad range of legal requirements and industry best practices to pinpoint what you need to know about company policies on safety, privacy, security, and compliance.

“Common Sense Education.” Common Sense Education | Digital Citizenship Curriculum & EdTech Reviews, Common Sense Media, 28 Mar. 2018, education/.

Jamie Kammandel

I was one of the lucky people chosen to go to NETA this year! I had a blast learning a ton of new apps to try with students and new ideas to implement. Here are some of the things I plan to try with my second graders.

Math: Lenny VerMass taught a session called Math is Everywhere. He shared his website,, which has a ton of information about math. Due to me teaching second grade, I clicked on the Elementary link: This has a wealth of ideas for elementary math, games, centers, math related apps, and picture books to help teach math concepts.

Kayla Delzer (North Dakota Teacher of the Year, 3rd grade teacher and Keynote Speaker) shared her amazing website: http:// This website offers ideas, suggestions, and even a few freebies for teachers to use.

Below are some specific things she shared that I plan to try out in my classroom. Some of the apps I already use, but I am excited to try some new apps out with my class.

Kayla has her class start each day with Genius Hour. This is a time for students to research, learn about and create presentations about something they are passionate about. I cannot give an hour each day to this but do plan on trying this out in a different format. You can visit: http:// to get more ideas, and to see some resources that Kayla uses.

Twitter and Instagram:

Here are some Twitter and Instagram people to follow. I’ve already gotten a ton of great and useful ideas from them!


#teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #teacherfriends #happyclassrooms #edchat #iteach2nd #topdogteaching #hgtcon17 #SDEevents #teacherspayteachers #flexibleseating #helloliteracy #edtech


@topdogteaching @techbradwaid @hellojenjones @kindergardensmorgasboard @easyteachingtools @rockytopteacher @teachoutsidethebox @teachingwithappitude @mrbadura @happygoteach @ramonarecommends @mrwelcome

Global Read Aloud: This website offers students and teachers a chance to read books aloud and make global connections with others. Teachers can connect to one class or many classes. Students can then connect with others to talk about the book.

April Bridwell

Discovery Education STEM Camp

Discovery Education hosted a 2 hour STEM Camp that gave us the opportunity to experience 4 different activities that focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. The activities were rather simple in theory but challenging in engagement and cooperative thinking.

The 4 resources were:

  • Rocket for Mars
  • Contractor & Material Engineering
  • Irrigation Challenge
  • Puff the Magic Car Designer

All 4 challenges force the small groups to collaborate and come up with strategic ideas to complete the task within the time limit.

Jered Hellman

Getting to attend NETA again was a really exciting for me. I haven’t been to NETA for at least 7 or 8 years, so getting to attend at the new venue was really exciting for me. One of my main takeaways beyond the breakout sessions was the first Keynote Speaker Kayla Deltzer. Kayla was extremely energizing and actually made me reflect a lot on my teaching career. I feel that I have always placed relationships at the forefront of my teaching and hearing her put such emphasis on relationships made me realize I have been doing things the right way for years. I have always loved technology and use many different technologies on the ipad daily to enhance my students learning. The one thing that really hit home to me was when Kayla said “if its boring on paper, it’s boring on an ipad!” This hit home to me because I post a lot of information for my students on our google classroom page, and sometimes its a scan of a document that I have used in the past. A document that is clearly boring! This made me want to revamp some of the things that I use with my students on google classroom.

Another highlight for me was being with fellow educators that share a love of technology. I had several amazing discussions, and several of them took place because the teachers saw on my badge that I teach for Westside. We are truly lucky to be 1-1 at the elementary level and I loved sharing my experiences with it.

Another highlight for me at NETA is always the vendor exhibits. I love seeing the new and exciting things that companies are coming up with for education. From 3D printers, to 75 inch fully moveable and interactive touch screen displays, I loved talking with the Vendors about their products and how they can enrich education.

Scott Becker

After attending NETA, I am excited to develop a greater “culture of storytelling,” at Paddock Road.  Joe Sanfelipo’s session has encouraged me to celebrate our culture and recognize all of the great things that are taking place in our building.  We currently do a great job of marketing and sharing our big events and awards, but I think we can do a better job of marketing the day to day experiences that take place.  I am excited to continue to use social media as a platform to celebrate all of the little successes that take place each day.  I also think we can use this to celebrate all of the hard work our teachers do each day.  Joe shared some great examples of how they recognize staff on social media, and talked about the culture it builds.  I am excited to bring this to Paddock Road!

Liz Friesen

Eric Curts, certified Google trainer, gave an engaging and informational presentation called “Hipster Google: Google Tools You Probably Never Heard Of.” There are dozens of tools and extensions that have been created by Google that are educational, fun,…and you’ve probably never heard of.

One of my favorites is “Mystery Animal.” It allows you to play 20 questions with a computer or iPad. Google picks an animal and the student figures out what the animal is by asking 20 “Yes” and “No” questions. I was in the process of planning a zoology lesson for primary grade students in a STEAM after school club. I immediately knew this game would be a fun addition to the end of my lesson. It allows the students to use their zoology science skills to test their animal knowledge. You can play online at .

I encourage you to go to Eric Curts’ website to see a plethora of other Google Tools.

Alli Pontious

Building relationships is key to a successful learning experience.  Educators don’t just have a one year contract with their students, they have a lifetime contract.  What we do with our students everyday makes a difference for their future, so if it’s right for kids, it’s right!  Guide your students to lead the life they want and to help others along the way.

We need to make sure that students are using technology purposefully and effectively in and out of the classroom.  If it’s boring on paper, don’t put it on an iPad.  It will still be boring.  We also need to keep in mind that technology is only as good as the classroom community in which it’s used.  Knowing your students and building those relationships is such a critical piece in the educational puzzle.

Work with others to help build up each other.  Build on strengths of your peers to help create a fun learning environment.  Have fun learning!

Josh Willits

It’s all about making relationships. Relationships with students, but also with your fellow coworkers. It could be shaking their hands, greeting them by their name as they walk in the room or hallway, a special handshake, and even seeing them in their own activities or spending time going to their activities outside of school. It’s important to make all those kids feel special and make the classroom feel like a place they belong to and care about. That’s what seemed to be most important to a few of the keynote speakers. It was to make them feel like they are a part of something special and/or feel like they matter.

As for the technology, Apple created a program called “Everyone Can Create.” This iBook looked fantastic to teach kids about the arts. Whether it be music, art, or photography, it can teach you to use your iPad to create magical pieces of music to creative masterpieces of art (photography or drawing). They have 3 different teaching iBooks, one drawing, one photography, and one music. Plus if you want to use it strictly in classroom, you can also download a teachers guide. It’s also great because it’s free! Don’t wait and try it out.

Everything was fantastic and I loved attending.

Deb Saetveit

NETA 2019 was an enriching professional experience for me.  This year, Kelly Kenny, Alex Essen, and I presented our “Fixer Upper: Library Edition” session on Thursday, which gave us an opportunity to share some of the ways we’ve updated our curriculum, programming, and collections to to reflect our district’s future-ready philosophy and to align with our new national standards for school library programs.   Friday’s program was particularly inspiring because Gwyneth Jones–also known as “The Daring Librarian”–provided three outstanding sessions about educational technology and its central role in school libraries.  I came away with lot of ideas, including using QR codes for book trailers, booksnaps, and harnessing the power of bitmojis for signage and library communications.

Dustin Carlson

The message from both Kayla and Mike resounded with the importance of relationships. The trust and emotional bond that you have with your students has such a huge impact on learning and success. Relationship building begins with simple things like greeting your students at the door and extend to meeting each child’s needs before worrying about academics. Many of our teachers do such an amazing job at building relationships already and it was great to hear the real-life stories of the long term effects of these positive relationships.

Mike talked about how future jobs are going to be lead by freelancers. College is not going to be a must. Companies like Apple are snagging a group of entrepreneurs that do not have college degrees, but they have the skills, drive, and self-learning that will make them successful and add to the company’s mission. We have to prepare students for these jobs that don’t even exist yet. We have to help students find their direction and help them chase a lifestyle for their future instead of chasing a career.

A big shock came from Mike explaining how distractions destroy dreams. He made us take out our phones and see what apps we spend the most time on. He said that many people waste so much time with their face in their phone, wishing they could live someone else’s life or wasting time talking about what they’re going to do. We need to be the type of people that just ‘do’. It takes about 10,000 hours to master your craft, so why not spend that time ‘doing’ instead of wasting time wishing or wanting?!

Beyond this learning at NETA, I also made connections with places that offer virtual field trips that match student passions and work very well with our indicators. I found additional ideas and resources to continue personalizing learning in my classroom. I also relearned tricks to make my life easier with our Apple technologies!

Kelly Kenny

Mystery Skype + Skype Translator

Did you know you can connect your students with classrooms around the world? You can, with Mystery Skype! Play a game of Mystery Skype with another class to guess where they are located. It’s a fun way to learn about other cultures and enhances your students’ critical thinking and communication skills.

And here’s the best part, they’ve now developed Skype Translator. The voice translator will translate conversations in 10 languages, while the text conversations in 60 languages.

Take the risk, try something new, and connect your students to others beyond the walls of the classroom. Challenge your kids to critically think and learn about new cultures by using Mystery Skype and Skype Translator!

Additional Resources:

Alex Essen

This year at NETA one of the keynote speakers was Mike Smith. Originally from Nebraska Mike had a vision to help close the generational poverty gap. Although he was not the smartest and brightest in his high school he had the drive to make his vision a reality. He surrounded himself with people that believed in him and showed others that when your passionate about something you can create change. Mike opened up a skate park, coffee shop, concert venue to teach life skills to kids and get them off the streets. Not only would he teach these students life skills but he would teach them how to give back in the community. I loved this message on how you don’t have to be the brightest student but if you have a passion you can chase it with success. We need to foster students passions and help them see their full potential outside of just a grade. Check out Mike Smith’s website for more information!



Angela Mosier

For me, NETA 2019 was about learning technology tips and tricks the enhance learning opportunities for my students and increase engagement.

• Kayla Dezler’s session Demonstrating Student Understanding with Technology promoted tech tools for podcasting, drawing and interactive graphics, presentations, story telling, coding, and 4-D.

Hipster Google presented by Eric Curtis highlighted Google tools that you may not be aware of. For example,  Ngram Viewer shows the frequency of searched terms over the past century in literature. This tool is great resources for statistical analysis, as well as, showing how our the world has changed over time.  Just a Line allows you to make simple drawings in augmented reality which could be fun when introduced geometric solids.  Data Gif Maker easily created animated versions of data sets.

• Tony Vincent’s presentations are always fun to attend. Two of this year’s sessions Documenting with Style and Creating Learning Activities in Google Drawings did not disappoint. Documenting with Style provided tips and tricks for creating videos. One tool that can help you create quick videos is called QUIK. QUIK will allow you to choose a theme and then quickly put together videos using your footage. I am also intrigued with 1SecondEveryday and the ability to document experiences over an extended period of time. In Creating Learning Activities in Google Drawings, I am most excited to use Typorama to create posters for learning areas that have an artistic flair.

As always NETA gives a plethora of ideas. It will be fun deciding which tools I can integrate in my lessons to enhance the learning in my classroom.

Kelly Schulz

“Reach the World”

In this session I learned this digital company partners with the Malaika Foundation in Nebraska (to completely off-set the cost) to take classrooms on virtual exchange journeys worldwide.  With specific matches made in collaboration with teachers, you can give these Fulbright and Gilman Scholars detailed thematic units / vocabulary and have the scholars put together resources to align with your curriculum and academic goals.

The traveling scholar will deliver weekly custom content for 12 weeks, video conference from their respective global location, and even send authentic content from that particular country to your class!

I also attended “Hipster Google” .  This was one of the most beneficial sessions that I enjoyed!*SlgxE6XRIoyFTMwxbaDoVA

Crystal Bolamperti

Here are a variety of tech. tools to integrate into your teaching:

Collabordependent – Each student has their own slide (Alternate activity to a Google Doc)

Teacher–Posts a question

Students–Answer a question, define a term, explain a process, etc.

Step 1: Writing

Step 2: Feedback – Assign students to respond to one slide in front of them and/or one slide behind where the student’s slide is located.

Begin with a PRACTICE SIMPLE SLIDE SHOW (Crystal’s suggestion). Then, try a project.

Insert (top), Comment

Google allows 50 people to actively edit the file.

Meme Buddy – Create internet memes using only your voice. – Search for 3D models that are already created (database of 3D designed objects to download).

Download and put in 3D designed tools into Tinkercad – join PearDeck – Students join teacher’s slide show. Students can enter their answers on a slide where a question is posted and a record of their answers can be maintained.

Science journal – App for Phone – Sensors are on your device to record data (e.g. ride on roller coaster and record data). You could use this for a homework option if phones are not allowed in class.

Kristeen Shabram

This years NETA Conference was full of great sessions. Some sessions that I really enjoy include:

Amplify My Voice–Student Podcasting

Andrew Fenstermaker, an Instructional Technology Coordinator from Iowa Public Schools, offers a plethora of resources for student podcasting. He includes a step-by-step process including the setup needed, how to select a podcast topic and theme, how to create a podcast logo, how to produce and edit a podcast, and how to publish. If you’re looking for an awesome way for students to express themselves, podcasting is the way to go. Check out his NETA presentation here.

Create with CoSpaces!

If you want to include Digital Literacy, Creativity, Collaboration, 3D/VR/AR Creation, and Computer Science all in one lesson, then CoSpaces is the way to go. CoSpaces allows students to build their own 3D creations, animate them with code and explore them in Virtual or Augmented Reality. Super easy to use. Check out CoSpaces at

Computer Science & Engineering Capstone

Derek Babb is doing amazing things with students at Omaha North High School in his Computer Science and Engineering Capstone class.. Derek teaches a year-long capstone class where students focus on a specific problem and work towards developing a solution to that problem. The capstone class is offered through a partnership with the Omaha Startup Collaborative and is the final class in the Computer Science and Engineering Pathway. Check out more information about this capstone class here.

Lisa K. Admire

As a participant in the 2019 NETA Conference, I had the opportunity to take part in a two-day NETA Swift Coding Workshop.  The workshop was packed with useful resources, excellent presentation of materials, and a presenter who understood the design of teaching.  The presenter modeled best practice, taught to clearly defined objectives, and understood time management.  The content was Swift Coding, but as a teacher, I always appreciate an opportunity to be the student in a learning environment where all the “excellent” boxes can be checked.

If you are interested in learning more about Swift Coding, what it is, and how you might use it in your classroom, I would suggest you start with 100 Days of Swift, from the website “Hacking with Swift”.   It’s aimed at beginners. Be ready to commit one hour a day—for 100 days.  You’ll start your 2020 fall semester with a wealth of knowledge.

Holly Currie

Just like last year, NETA proved to be a great use of time and energy. I went in hoping to gain more insight with skills and techniques I am already doing, instead of simply learning brand new things. There are almost too many ideas and apps out there and it can become overwhelming. The line-up created by NETA allowed me to attend workshops that gave me ways to improve upon what I am already doing in the classroom, mainly when it comes to apps and programs developed by Google.

One session that really engaged me was “Hipster Google”. The presenter, whose blog/website I now have readily accessible on my laptop (, went through an extensive list of Google additions, tools, and add-ons, and highlighted several tools. He also provided us with a document that outlined each tool and accompanied each with a link. Some of them were not new to me, but many were! Who doesn’t need more shortcuts?!

Aside from the tech specific workshops and speakers, we were also graced with the presentation of Mike Smith. This time of the school year can be so overwhelming and exhausting for a classroom. It was a breath of fresh air to hear Mike’s story and be reignited with someone making our profession seem meaningful, given it is what makes us happy. I loved his elaboration on teaching kids (and knowing ourselves) how important it is not to chase a career but to chase a LIFESTYLE. We should focus on doing what makes us happy. He spoke a lot about how he has led his life by what can help people and how he can have fun.

Mike also had a session called, “Because, Nebraska”. Honestly, I don’t think it was my original plan to attend that session, but I was so engaged in his keynote that I decided to go! I almost wished he would have spoken more, but instead we were given the majority of the session time to discuss with our peers different topics in education. It was great to know that we are not alone in our struggles, but I would have preferred to hear more from him, instead of him just guiding discussions.

Overall, it was a great experience!

Jeanette Kleppinger

NETA 2019

What app do you use that has revolutionized your life? Mine is Google Maps! Have you ever wondered how it all works? Do you have students who want and can be the next big app developer?

This year at NETA I took a chance and strayed from the traditional NETA route and engaged in a Learn to Code Workshop where I sat shoulder to shoulder with a student who wanted to learn to code. I went in with mixed emotions, excited and very anxious. Some things I took away:

  1. Sitting next to a student and truly learning alongside them is very exciting and eye-opening.
  2. For someone who has very little coding background there are an amazing amount of resources out there to get started in a safe learning environment.
  3. Through the learning process there were many lessons that overlapped with curriculum being taught in all levels and all subject areas. In addition, there was problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity in every lesson we went through.

The resources that were shared can be used by anyone independently or in a classroom setting. My students and I had little coding experience and were successful using the resources shared.

Here are some of my favorites and they are all free online in the Apple Bookstore, Twitter, or online:

Apple Books:

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference: resources/videos posted from previous conferences.

Hacking with Swift Paul Hudson’s website has several resources and projects you can create to learn and practice.

#100DaysofSwift Created by Paul Hudson, gives you a challenge daily to help move you through using Swift. Fun and engaging way for students to learn Swift.

Going into this workshop my student didn’t have a strong interest in learning to code, but the business venture he is creating needs an app component. He walked away confident that he can continue to learn so he can drive his business forward. He was excited to share his learning with his peers that are on a similar path. I walked away realizing that I can incorporate mini-lessons seamlessly into what I am already doing to spark an interest in students. At a minimum, I owe it to my students to share the resources with them so they can choose to move forward with coding.


Travis Vo

This was my first time attending NETA — what an experience! The workshops and presenters shared new advances in educational technology for both inside and outside the classroom. I’m excited to potentially see some of these advances inside Westside and be able to support the culture of personalized learning and innovation our District is known for.

During my time at NETA, a session I attended on Future Ready Nebraska was particularly interesting. Future Ready Nebraska is a collaborative effort between the ESU Coordinating Council and the Nebraska Department of Education. A framework for technology in Nebraska schools, the Future Ready plan addresses several key components of a technology-rich learning environment and ecosystem. The components are broken down into “gears” with a primary objective for each gear.

The gears addressed in this plan are:

  • Budget and Resources
  • Community Partnership Development
  • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • Data and Privacy
  • Personalized Professional Development
  • Robust Infrastructure
  • Use of Space and Time

While the Future Ready Nebraska plan may not address everything, Nebraska has long needed a long range plan for technology in our schools. As more and more school districts begin to adopt one-to-one personal learning device initiatives, Nebraska will need a robust infrastructure and plan of action to accommodate the growth of technology in our schools. Future Ready Nebraska provides for an excellent framework to accomplish such tasks, and I look forward to seeing the plan take shape and be implemented across the state.

For more information, please visit:

Andrew Easton

With only one quarter left in the 2018-2019 school year, I’ve begun brainstorming a few ideas for the 2019-2020 school year in order to prepare myself for the work I would like to get done over the summer. I could not be more excited to return to the classroom part-time next year, and the course I will be teaching is English 4, which is a senior English course that focuses primarily on developing reading and writing skills for learners who are looking to enter the workplace after high school. As such, I went into NETA looking for something to help prepare for that new course for me, and I found inspiration in the day two Keynote and subsequent breakout sessions with motivational speaker Mike Smith. For those not at NETA, Mike Smith runs a coffee shop/skate park in Lincoln called The Bay, where his business creates opportunities for teenagers to connect, work, and learn how to pursue the things they are passionate about in life as a way to discover opportunities for work that are meaningful to the individual.

In his keynote message, Smith advocated that teens should ask themselves questions like, “What kind of life are you trying to lead?” and “What lifestyle are you passionate about?” rather than chasing a job or a career. He went on to dismiss the question “where do you see yourself in ten years” opting instead to value questions such as “Who do you want to be in five years? In ten?”

Smith’s message encouraged educators to support learners in identifying their strengths and the strategies they employ to leverage those strengths effectively. Those beliefs align with passion and purpose I personally find in personalization, and being like-minded, I found myself drawn to the subsequent breakout sessions after the keynote that continued to subtly round-out my thinking about the purpose driving this new-to-me course.

Katie Sindt

I went to a Hipster Google session, where many Google tools were explored. They were separated into helpful search tools, mapping tools and create tools.   I was especially intrigued by updates for Google Earth, which now include better ways for students to learn about geography. For younger students, I liked “Mystery Animal” which allows students 20 questions to guess an animal with the computer. A link to the Google Doc I made with these tools, plus many more is here. Check it out!

Michael Sanchez

This was my 4th year going to neta, and every year I learn so much! While at NETA I went to many sessions. One session being a technology Coordinators bus tour where we went around and visited other districts. This helped me discover a lot of things that I could bring back to westside to enhance our own technology program and to plan for the future STEM wise.

Another Session I went to is more of a passion of mine its bringing eSports to a high school. If you don’t know already esports is basically professional gaming. More and more colleges are offering big scholarships to esports members and bringing the program to westside could help more students be excited for college & help them engage more in school I know for a fact if I had this when I was in school, I would have tried A LOT more. Some things I learned while I was in this session will help a lot, like did you know nebraska already has an high school esports league where other high schools can play against each other? They also provided a lot of good information on starting it up and what to expect I can’t wait to get this rolling!

Mitch Scheffler

Friday’s keynote speaker reminded me of two things:

  1. Failure is ok as a starting point. FAIL is a First Attempt In Learning
  2. Your relationships with people will either add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Try to steer clear of the ones that subtract and divide.

Throughout NETA keynotes and sessions there seemed to be a common theme that we need to train up today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. So often we get stuck in a rut of preparing students for jobs that may not exist when they get into the job field. I was surprised to find out that companies, like Macy’s, are already actively searching for people that can paint in the world of virtual reality because they believe future shoppers will want to look at products and try on clothes in the comfort of their home using virtual reality and augmented reality. For those on a budget, we can give our students a small taste of augmented reality using a free mobile app called “Just a line”. It allows you to draw lines in space and then walk around them with your device to view them in the 3D realm of augmented reality. For those with a bit more cash, the Tilt Brush from Google can help train up a student for that job with Macy’s.

Did you know that Google Slides can type out captions of what you say during your presentation? This is a great tool, especially if you have students that are hard of hearing. When in the presentation mode, click the CC Captions button at the bottom, allow it access to your microphone, and then watch it type captions under your slides as you speak.

Lynn Spady

I’ve been wanting to create my own GIFs for awhile now and NETA 19 was the perfect time to learn!  In Tony Vincent’s session, Animate Learning with GIFs, several resources were shown and explained.  You can find all of his resources at:

Anymore when I go to a conference like NETA, I need to make sure and carve out time to TRY the things I’m learning.  I decided to use Google Slides to create a series of images (15 slides) that explain slope-intercept form.  I then used a website called Tall Tweets ( to convert the slides into a GIF.  Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about creating GIFs to animate learning!

Dr. Greg Betts

At NETA, 2019, Apple presented to a full house of educators, the multiple options Keynote has to assist in storytelling. The overarching theme was to foster creativity and empowerment in student writing (and storytelling). The description of the session was “Learn how to empower students to create interactive portfolios, movies and more with fun animations, personal illustrations, and customize shapes using the Keynote app on iPad. More than a presentation tool, Keynote gives students a powerful way to visually think through stories and ideas.” Of course, 45-minutes is not enough time to get to all of the tools in-depth. We did learn about the new features on the iPad, including how to make a GIF. This was entertaining, to say the least. The educators created some fun examples. I was able to tell a story with a picture from a previous session and added moving arrows to demonstrate progress. Adding sound was fun too! By following this link, you can access a tutorial on how to animate objects and then export as a GIF.

Bridget Brown

“Schools that continue to deliver an undifferentiated learning product that is available elsewhere—or anywhere—are in trouble.”

Grant Lichtman

This years NETA conference seemed to have an overarching theme centered around one word, ‘change.’ Changes in how we teach, changes in the job market, and changes in those skills that will be most valuable for our students. One particular session I attended, called, “Creating Change and Making it Stick,” focused on this necessity to change what our schools look like and how we teach. The presenter spoke on eight essential components of lasting change, and identified solutions for those components that we may be missing. The infographic below displays four of the components that really stood out for me.