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  • August 21, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Are you excited for IDEAcon? We can't wait to tell you about our Wednesday Keynote Speaker...

    Gerry Brooks is an educator and a motivational speaker. He has 21 years experience in the classroom and as an administrator.

    He is a passionate public speaker whose focus is on encouraging and helping teachers improve their instructional abilities. He also has a desire to help administrators successfully lead their staff.

    Gerry has spoken to educational groups all around the nation. His focus is on encouraging teachers to improve their instruction through personal climate and culture strategies. He desires to help administrators focus on how to lead all staff in a positive and constructive manner.

    His humorous take on educational situations has helped him gain over 1.2 million followers on social media. You can catch Gerry on his YouTube ChannelFacebook,TwitterInstagram and website. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of his book, Go See the Principal: True Tales from the School Trenches.

    You can register to see Gerry keynote our annual edtech conference, IDEAcon, on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. Registration for IDEAcon will open this October.


    Are you interested is presenting at IDEAcon too? Submit your proposal to present at IDEAcon 2020 today. The Call for Proposals closes on Friday, September 6, 2019.


  • August 06, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Although drones are oftentimes viewed as either toys, or tools for professionals, their potential for education cannot be understated. Lessons in drones offer learning opportunities in STEM subjects such as physics, coding, math and more.

    Learning about how an object can take (and sustain) flight is made easy with drones in the classroom. Teaching students about flight fundamentals such as lift, thrust, drag, and weight can spark students curiosity and demystify the physics behind flight. For more advanced lessons, students can be tasked with calculating how long it will take a drone to fly a certain distance, or the maximum altitude a drone can attain.

    On a more practical level, drones are a fantastic resource that help develop students’ motor functions. Quick reaction times are needed to fly a drone, honing student’s developing motor functions that are used throughout life in activities such as writing, driving, physical activity and more.

    Drones make teaching students to code an engaging, hands-on activity. Students can be taught to have a drone perform maneuvers autonomously, such as banking and performing sharp terms. Eventually, students can be tasked with programming a drone to fly through an obstacle course by itself.

    When it comes to emerging technologies, drones provide some of the most exciting opportunities to bring STEM to your classroom. From teaching coding for autonomous flight to fine tuning students’ motor skills, drones are an invaluable modern teaching aid.

    Learn more about how how to expand student paradigms in computer science using drone technology. Join IDEA Professional Learning Partner NextWaveSTEM’s Program Coordinator Desmond Martin for a webinar on August 7th at 4pm CDT. Desmond will guide you through the impact of using Scratch coding to transform students from consumers of technology to creators through intentional and specific experiences with cutting edge tech.

    NextWaveSTEM’s mission is to help students build 21st Century Skills by providing hands-on learning using emerging technologies, opening up new career and life possibilities.

    RSVP for the webinar at https://ideaillinois.org/event-3484828.

    Illinois educators will earn one (1) PDH at the conclusion of the webinar.

  • July 29, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    A 3D printer is an indispensable technology for the modern classroom. The ability to bring any idea to life in the form of a physical object creates enormous educational possibilities.

    Using a 3D printer for instruction isn’t just about printing out objects to use as manipulatives—learning opportunities arise at every step of the printing process. When designing objects in fun, lightweight software such as TinkerCAD, students think about three dimensional spaces in an entirely new way.

    3D printers create a seemingly limitless variety of printable objects that bring vibrancy and clarity to lessons on any subject. From printing out a model of the solar system to recreating historical artifacts, these objects produce engagement and fidelity through visual learning.

    An educational gift that keeps on giving, a 3D printer is also a lesson in and of itself. Teaching students how a 3D printer is able to construct an entire object seemingly out of thin air is a fantastic way to spark a student’s interest in STEM.

    As emerging technologies become more commonplace in everyday life, the need to introduce them to students becomes ever greater. A 3D printer is an invaluable classroom tool, its learning opportunities are limited only by imagination.

    Learn more about how 3D printers deepen students' understanding of STEM and the world around them. Join IDEA Professional Learning Partner NextWaveSTEM’s Program Coordinator Desmond Martin for a webinar on July 31 @ 4pm CDT where you will learn how to supercharge your STEM programs using emerging 3D printing technology. Desmond will guide you through the importance of exposing students to the Engineering Design Process, while utilizing 3D printers in the classroom. Augment student engagement while exploring math, science, and technology in a hands-on way.

    NextWaveSTEM’s mission is to help students build 21st Century Skills by providing hands-on learning using emerging technologies, opening up new career and life possibilities.

    RSVP for the webinar at https://ideaillinois.org/event-3484820.

    Illinois educators will earn one (1) PDH at the conclusion of the webinar.

  • June 20, 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Starting July 1, 2019, Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) will officially change the organization’s name to Illinois Digital Educators Alliance.

    Executive Director, Amber Heffner, explains “Over the last several years, we have seen our membership grow and diversify and our role as educational technology influencers increase too. As an organization, we felt that it was time that our brand represent those changes as well.”

    Illinois Computing Educators was formed in 1986 by a group of 30 educators as a statewide 503(c) non-profit organization dedicated to leadership in education through technology. Since then, the organization has grown to over 12,000+ members and reaches far beyond the role of the computer teacher. Through our professional learning opportunities and thirteen local chapters, we provide services to classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, administrators, educational IT professionals, technology coaches, and more.

    We believe that this new name will create a better understanding of our identity while furthering our mission to inspire, connect and provide the educational community with opportunities that transform teaching and learning through technology. Illinois Digital Educators Alliance will also more accurately reflect our vision that connected and empowered educators inspire today’s learners to become tomorrow’s leaders.

    The organization’s Governing Board has been working on the rebrand for the last 18 months and encouraged input from their membership throughout the process. The name, in fact, was suggested by one of the organization’s members and then chosen by a vote that was open to all members in late February during their annual edtech conference, #ICE19.

    Incoming Executive Board President, Mike McGowan, acknowledged the importance of involving the organization’s membership in the decision-making process. “Our members are passionate about their profession and many dedicate their free time to continue learning in the ever-changing field of education and educational technology. We know that they also have a passion for our organization and what we offer. We wanted to be sure that our members were part of the process and felt an ownership to the direction that the organization is headed.”

    Interested parties can learn more about Illinois Digital Educators Alliance on the company’s new website: www.ideaillinois.org. You can also follow them on social media channels including Facebook (@ideaillinois), Twitter (@ideaillinois), Instagram (@ideaillinois).


    Amber Heffner, Executive Director 

    Jenna Hnilo, Director of Marketing & Outreach 

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Email: info@ideaillinois.org
Call: 630 628 1088

2735 Hassert Blvd.

Ste 135 PMB 304

Naperville, Illinois 60564

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