Ditch Summit: A free online conference for teachers

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Friday, November 20, 2020

Ditch Summit: A free online conference for teachers

The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit gives you hours of amazing professional learning ... when and where you want to watch it. Download free certificates of completion. Register at DitchSummit.com.

The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a FREE online conference for teachers. It brings together some of the brightest minds in education to discuss technology, pedagogy and more.

Each year in December, we empower and inspire you with new video presentations as well as access to 50+ presentations from previous summits. Generate FREE certificates for professional development credits. 

Don't wait: Register at DitchSummit.com

Did we mention it's FREE? Learn more about this annual free event below ...

How does Ditch Summit work?

It’s easy. When the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit opens in December, you'll have access to dozens of videos you can watch any time you want -- as many times as you'd like. You can watch them from the comfort of your own sofa, beverage of choice in your hand. Here's how to make sure you're getting the most out of the summit:

1. Register for the summit.

Go to DitchSummit.com to sign up for the summit. We will email you to let you know when the summit is coming. During the summit, we'll email you links to every presentation as soon as it’s made available. That way, you won’t miss anything.

2. Help us spread the word until it starts!

The summit opens in mid December, but until then, you can help by letting other people know about it. Copy and paste the text from this document to email colleagues about it.  Click here to tweet about the summit on TwitterClick here to post to Facebook about the summit. 

3. Watch the videos and enjoy!

Once the summit starts, a new video presentation will be released each day. Click the link in your email to go to the video and the resources provided with it. Videos are available until the summit closes. After that, the summit is over and the videos disappear!

4. Generate certificates of completion.

You can create a PDF certificate of completion to submit to your school for professional development credit after you watch a video. You can print it off or email it to your school leader in charge of professional development. We don’t guarantee that your school/district will accept them, but many do!

5. View, print or download session notes.

After the summit closes, the videos become unavailable … but you can keep the summary notes forever! These PDF files are accessible from the video pages. Just click the button to view, print or download them.

6. Be social!

 Each year, our #DitchSummit Twitter community has buzzed with activity. Join in by going to the #DitchSummit Twitter hashtag to see what everyone else has said, replying to and liking others’ posts, and posting your own takeaways.

7. Watch all you want until it's over.

If you haven’t noticed me mentioning it already, the Ditch Summit videos aren’t available forever. They’re only open during the summit. After the summit is over, they become unavailable until the summit re-opens. So don’t miss out … watch early and often — as many times as you want!

But wait. They don't really disappear, right?

Technically, the videos do live in my YouTube account and I could make them available all year round. But here’s what I’ve found. We humans are really bad at taking action unless there’s a deadline. The disappearing videos create a sense of urgency that stirs people to act — to actually watch the videos. I’m in this for impact — to equip teachers and push for change in education — and I’ve found that this dynamic of the “end of the summit” stirs people to action. Plus, it creates a sense of a real event with a start and end — like a conference.

Who's speaking at Ditch Summit this year?

This year (2020-21), the panel of speakers includes teachers, curriculum specialists, authors, and more. They include topics like remote learning, culturally responsive teaching, problem solving, Google tools, and student engagement. You'll be empowered and inspired by them!

Who are some past Ditch Summit speakers?

Our Ditch Summit faculty includes New York Times best-selling authors, Global Teacher Prize finalists, former teachers of the year, well-known education bloggers. Plus, they include practicing classroom teachers, tech integration specialists, and school leaders. They're all about equipping and inspiring you to do great things in your classroom tomorrow.

Brad Montague
Co-Creator, Kid President

Austin Kleon
Author of bestselling books including Show Your Work!

Jennifer Gonzalez
Editor in Chief,
Cult of Pedagogy

James Clear
Author of New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits

Dave Burgess
Author of Teach Like a Pirate

Mike Soskil
Global Teacher Prize Top 5, Pa. Teacher of the Year

Ken Shelton
Keynote Speaker, TEDx Speaker, Techquity Voice

Kim Bearden
Author and Co-Founder
of Ron Clark Academy

Toney Jackson
Rapping Elementary Teacher, Author, Poet

Sarah Thomas
Founder of EduMatch Publishing, Author

The 10 best Ditch Summit takeaways

With more than 60 video presentations in five years, we've learned a LOT through the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit. To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are 10 of our favorite resources, tools, and "aha!" moments from Ditch Summit past.

1. Find vibrant colors with MaterialUI.

Session: Fantastic Learning Activities with Google Drawings with Tony Vincent

When you create documents, slides, images and more, you don't have to stick with the pre-programmed colors that your app provides you. You can bring a world of colors to your work. Just go to www.materialui.co/colors to find LOTS of vibrant colors. Copy the hex code of the color and use it to select that color in your app.

2. Replace note taking with "retrieve taking."

Session: Using Powerful Teaching to Remember and Thrive with Pooja Agarwal Ph.D and Patrice Bain Ed.S

If you've failed to get the results you want from student note taking, try "retrieve taking." It's based on retrieval, a brain friendly practice backed up by cognitive science. Don't have students take notes while they read, listen, or study. Instead, have them write down what they remember after they read, listen, or study. It forces them to recall details from memory, which helps them remember. Learn more about this practice in this post.

3. Build a snowman to practice slide skills.

Session: How in the Google Did You Do That? with Eric Curts

Have some fun and help students improve their tech skills. Give them this Google Slides template to customize and create their own snowman. Afterward, students can write about their snowman to describe and explain.

4. Design a lesson "Iron Chef" style.

Session: Plan Smarter, Not Harder with Edu-Protocols with Jon Corippo

The Iron Chef protocol is a twist on the jigsaw instructional strategy. In it, students receive a portion of materials to be introduced. Students teach that portion of the material to the rest of the group. After each group has presented, the class has taught the class the material. Here are instructions and templates to get you started.

5. Become a Chromebook ninja with these tips.

Session: Chromebook Crash Course: What You NEED with Matt Miller

Chromebooks are a lot like laptops. But some features make them very unique, powerful devices. For instance, a three-finger swipe to the left or right on the touchpad will change the browser tab displayed on the screen. Take a quick screenshot by pressing Ctrl + the "switcher" button (or Ctrl + Shift + "switcher" for a partial screenshot).

6. Here's a better way to brainstorm.

Session: LAUNCHing Student Creativity through Design Thinking with John Spencer

Brainstorming is a great way to generate ideas. But traditional brainstorming can lead to "group think" and stifle quieter members of the group. John Spencer suggests a different way. In this video, he suggests that students brainstorm alone and then as a group. Then, students join different groups to diversify. Watch the video for more details and context.

7. Transform worksheets and packets.

Session: Practical, Powerful, Pedagogically-Charged Teaching with Jennifer Gonzalez

Students have lamented worksheets and packets for ages. We can transform them, says Jennifer Gonzalez in her video presentation. She identifies the qualities of what makes a bad worksheet (a "busysheet") and a better worksheet (a "powersheet"). She offers alternatives to traditional worksheet practices in this post she calls "Frickin' Packets".

8. Quickly give yourself some self care.

Session: Self-Care for Stressed Teachers with Dan Tricarico

Teacher wellness is a crisis. It seems like no one is taking care of teachers. Dan Tricarico offers several pieces of advice. Among them: Give yourself permission to take care of yourself, even if for just 15 minutes. Even just 5 minutes. Do something quickly to relax and decompress. It can have huge benefits. Even one deep breath can have an impact.

9. Use these hacks to improve student video.

Session: Sparking Student Creativity and Creation with Video with Claudio Zavala Jr.

Students can use lots of apps to shoot video to show what they've learned. How they shoot that video can be improved with a few quick tips. For one, cut a hole in a small box to hold your phone in portrait or landscape mode, acting as a makeshift tripod. Another: Put a towel or shirt under the box to create a "rolling dolly" sideways pan like they do in Hollywood.

10. Bring AR and VR to class simply and easily.

Session: Create and Consume Immersively with AR/VR with Jaime Donally

Augmented reality and virtual reality aren't just for classes with expensive VR headsets and devices. You can use AR and VR with the devices you already have. Find 360-degree videos on YouTube for a VR experience. Wonderscope uses AR and students have to read in order for the story to continue. Even Google Expeditions can be used with standard devices to create virtual field trip experiences.

Sketchnotes of Ditch Summit sessions


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Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Is Matt presenting near you soon? Check out his upcoming live events!

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