Kristin Ziemke

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. As a teacher of primary age learners in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Author of Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom and co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She collaborates with educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer.  

Pre-conference Workshop: Read the World NOW

With the influx of mobile devices, multimedia websites, e-books, interactive graphics, and social media, there’s no question that literacy is changing. But are we adjusting our pedagogy to adopt and adapt literacy instruction to meet the needs of today’s learner?

This pre-conference workshop will explore the latest research and trends in digital literacy and investigate new modalities that require students to read beyond the text to comprehend new information. Holding on to what we know about best practice instruction, we’ll rethink reading with images, video, sketchnotes, graphics, AR and VR. Together, we’ll collect exemplars and craft lessons that explicitly teach students to analyze features they may encounter as they read the world. Attendees will leave with a set of digital artifacts to share back at school with colleagues that craft a vision for literacy today.

Keynote: We Are Made for Story

Campfire conversations, cave paintings, letters mailed across the sea — the tools and times have changed, but the human condition has not. We are made for story. Today, we have so many ways for students to share their stories; we move beyond “write it down” and diversify the how with digital options: blog, make a movie, write a multi-touch book, sing a song, share online. When we invite kids to tell their stories, we place our students at the center of curriculum and make it about them. Join in as we leverage the power of story in a digital age to benchmark time and change the future.

Extended Workshop 1: Digital Identity: Growing Up in a Connected Culture

Today, technology allows us to amplify students’ stories as learners produce, publish and share in our digital culture. Digital forms of storytelling—like blogs, tweets, and texts—invite new audience, offer diverse feedback and engage students to collaborate with the world. More so, sharing begs awareness, seeks understanding and has the potential to turn classroom devices into empathy-generating machines as kids interact and learn about the world. We celebrate the benefits of technology and explicitly teach students to consider their identity as they use media to understand themselves and their place in the global learning community.

Extended Workshop 2: Power to the Little People: Literacy, Independence, Critical Thinking

Technology transforms learning for all students but may have the greatest impact on developing readers and writers. This session will share strategies for leveraging digital tools with our youngest learners to capture student thinking, differentiate instruction and provide multimodal response options. From annotation with a drawing tool, to video feedback and collaboration on an LMS, we’ll unpack student work samples and video lessons to find new instructional practices to empower students in the early years.