Pre-conference Workshops

These workshops are in-depth, interactive, focused sessions that help to extend your knowledge and strengthen your tech skills.

Pre-Cons are Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Space is limited, so be sure to register early. They are not included in the conference package and must be registered for separately.

Download the list (PDF)

The pre-cons are available now through registration.

• Click a SIG/Group title below to open and close the pre-con session widgets for information:

ADMIN: Raising the BAR (Balance, Assisting Practices, Relevance)
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

SIG Steering Committee Members

As an administrator, it is hard to find the right technological tools to help balance your responsibilities and needs, assisting you in your daily endeavours and practices, and making relevance of your "Why".

SIG Admin has scheduled an afternoon session where we have mini-stations set up for our participants to practice using tech tools which will assist them in Raising the B.A.R. (Voxer, Blogging, Podcasting, Gamification of staff meetings, Twitter and TwitterChats, Green Screens)

CREATE: LAUNCH into Design Thinking: How to Bring Out the Maker in Every Student
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Featured Speaker A.J. Juliani, Director of Technology and Innovation at Centennial School District (PA)

Creative work can be hard. It can be challenging. It can sometimes be overwhelming to try and plan and incorporate into the classroom. Yet, we know our students are going to have to be more creative than ever to successfully thrive in today’s world. This talk shares how design thinking can provide a structure for creative teaching and learning, and how this process can empower our students to do remarkable work inside our schools right now.

CS 1: HTML 5 and JavaScript! Oh My!
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Zenia Bahorski PhD, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Eastern Michigan University Program.

For those who want to learn how to create a Web page from scratch with a good editor (like Notepad++ or TextWrangler), and learn what you can create using a browser, look no further! We'll tackle the elements that you'll need to create a Web page, and throw in some JavaScript too. Bring a laptop: either Windows with Notepad++ or a Mac with TextWrangler (both are free to download). 

CS 2: Computer Science –AP - Computer Science Principles Workshop
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Rich Lamb, Math/CS Teacher and Computer Deptartment Chair at Cranbrook Kingswood School; Jacob Hazard Academic Dean, grades 11 & 12 Computer AP Principles Instructor at Cranbook Kingswood School

For those who are already teaching AP Computer Science Principles or for those who are considering teaching it in the near future: Do you want to know what your students need to know for the test? Come gather with Rich Lamb and other like-minded teachers to learn about the test and have a discussion session about the course and how some are teaching it. (“AP” is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is unaware of and does not endorse this workshop.)

EE 1: Designing Your Own Breakout EDU Game
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Patti Harju, Director of Games, Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU is an immersive games platform for learners of all ages. In Breakout EDU games, players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box.

Learn more about Breakout EDU, explore how the story and connected clues are the secret to engaging players, discover many different kinds of clues and puzzles, and bring out the game maker within as you create your own physical and digital Breakout EDU games.

Visit for more information.

EE 2: Putting Learning First: The Not So Boring Workshop on Research and Ed Tech!
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Featured Speaker Liz Kolb, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan, 4T Conference Coordinator Education Technology

As technology becomes more common and expected in our classrooms, it is becoming vital that we continue to make sure the learning is the main focus, and technology second.

This session will take you on an interactive deep dive into the current research on the most effective and ineffective instructional strategies when integrating technology into K-8 classroom instruction.

When you leave this session, you will no longer need to ask yourself, "Is this technology tool actually enhancing my student's learning?"

EE 3: Integrating Technology Into the Reader's Workshop
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Karen Sjogren, 3rd Grade Teacher, Saline Area Schools; Mary Ledford, 2nd Grade Teacher, Saline Area Schools

Join us as we take an in depth look at dozens of websites and apps that can support your reader's workshop. We will look at different skills including retell, visualizing, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development and more.

We will also look at different assessment tools, grouping strategies, digital logs and blogs as well as free and low cost programs for you and your students.

Our workshop is geared for elementary teachers but many of the tools can be used at any grade level. Bring your device of choice with you. You will walk away with easy to use ideas that you can run with during your next reader's workshop.

INC 1: The Nuts and Bolts of Supporting the Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the General Education Classroom
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Kindy Segovia, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Kent ISD

General education classrooms face new challenges as they support increasing numbers of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While there is not a “one-size-fits-all” strategy, targeted technology supports can eliminate many educational barriers and foster success. Many strategies and practices for students with autism can be easily integrated into the general education classroom, and can benefit typically developing students in the process.

This hands-on session will focus on practical, free and low-cost strategies for organizing the classroom structure and environment, promoting positive social and behavioral participation, supporting language and interaction, and providing accessible and engaging instructional materials.

Learn about and try technology that students can use to access the curriculum and demonstrate understanding. Leave with ready-to-implement ideas and approaches! Join us for the “nuts and bolts” you need!

INC 2: Technology to Support Your Educational Teams: A Roadmap
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Kindy Segovia, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Kent ISD

We all know the buzzwords - collaboration, teamwork, co-teaching, cooperative learning. We are told that technology will make these easier, our work more efficient and our students more productive. But does it really? And with so many technologies available, how do navigate?

Join us to learn about and explore which tools and strategies our educators are using to harness the diverse expertise of each team member and cultivate creative solutions that address diverse learning needs. We will explore technology tools that support not only struggling students, but ALL students to increase outcomes and efficiency.

From Google tools, Open Education Resources, sharing platforms, digital assessment options and more, leave with practical strategies you - and your team - can use to navigate the winding road of technology options!

LIB 1: Fight Fake News with FREE Resources Available Now
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Christine Schneider, MeL K-12 Education Specialist, Michigan eLibrary; Erica Trowbridge, Secondary Media Specialist & Technology Coach, Oakridge Public Schools

Gossip isn’t regulated to your neighbor’s kitchen anymore, it’s spread worldwide. How many of your students think they have a knowledge of the world because of the news they follow on social media? Have you exhausted most of your resources and abilities in finding how to show your students where to look for credible, reliable information? Look no further!

SIGLIB has once again partnered with the Michiagn eLibrary (MeL) in order to provide you with enough resources to last an entire year and beyond. Here you will not only learn how to find and access this information, but also how to use it with your students.

We will provide you with materials and activities to help eradicate the fake news epidemic spreading deep into the core of our ever shrinking world. Information literacy can be fun. Join us in our quest for truth!

LIB 2: Let's Talk about Books
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Colby Sharp, 5th Grade Teacher, Parma Elementary School

Introducing new tech tools to students can at times feel overwhelming. In this session teacher Colby Sharp will share how he introduces almost every new tool in his classroom through the lens of book talks. Participants will explore video editing software, podcasts, Skype, and more! Come ready to create and share your very own book talk.

OBL 1: Engaging and Supporting the Online Learner
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Cary Stamas, Director of MySchool at Kent ISD; Cathi Stojkov, VP of Talent Management at Brightmont Academy

While online learning isn’t new for schools, finding success in online learning for all students can be tricky. Developing frameworks to support students in their online learning endeavors is crucial for student success. In this session you will learn from schools that have been effective in online learning by implementing strategies such as mentoring, goal-setting, creating physical environments, and updating policies to help create successful online experiences for all students.

There will also be an overview of current research and an opportunity to share your current practices, collaborate with other participants, and build an action plan for improvement.

OBL 2: Reaching All Learners: Engaging Your Students With Tech
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Erin Mastin, 3rd Grade Teacher, Boyne City Public SchoolsJeff Blakeslee, Secondary Classroom Teacher, Plymouth Canton High School

Meeting the needs of all students can be tricky in a 50-minute class period or when teaching 4 different subjects. In this session, discover how intentional technology use can help you create authentic learning experiences, provide increased access to resources and engage interests, all while having a deeper understanding of your students’ learning.

Join professional learning coaches and classroom teachers as we explore some fundamental elements of blended learning. You will experience how elementary and secondary teachers design learning with thoughtful technology integration and have time to identify opportunities and create resources for your own classroom.

PL 1: Innovate Your Presentation Skills with Google & More!
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Andrew Steinman, Educational Technology Consultant, Kent ISD; Kellie DeLosSantos, Educational Technology Consultant, Jackson ISD

Want to get better at your presentation skills? Curious about how technology can be used to improve your presentations? Then join us for this session to innovate your presentation skills with Google and more!

We will explore a variety of presentation strategies and tools that will help make you a more dynamic presenter. Participants will leave with a toolkit of resources that they can start using the very next day.

Presentations focus on sharing information with a large group of people, while facilitating occurs in small groups focused on accomplishing a goal. This session will only focus on developing you as a presenter. If you are also interested in developing your facilitation skills, we recommend you attend our afternoon pre-conference session, Facilitation for Today’s Educational Leader.

PL 2: Facilitation for Today’s Educational Leader
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Justin Cowen, Technology Integration Specialist, Breitung Township Schools; Myla Lee, Instructional Coach,Novi Community Schools

Do you think your meetings could be more effective and efficient? Want to help your professional learning community (PLC) achieve its goals? Then consider attending this session on facilitation for today’s educational leader.

This session will focus on the strategies and tools for facilitators of and group activities, including meetings, workshops and PLCs. Participants will walk away with a toolkit of resources including Google and more that they can begin using the very next day.

Facilitation focuses on helping small groups accomplish a goal, which presentations share information with large groups of people. This session will only focus on developing you as a presenter. If you are also interested in developing your presentation skills, we recommend you attend our morning pre-conference session, Innovate your presentation skills with Google & more.

Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

K-12 Teachers - Join us for a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy to learn more about Microsoft’s hottest tools and resources to empower your students to achieve more!  Bring your own Windows 10 device to this one-day professional learning experience to learn how to maximize your use of Windows and Office 365. You will get the opportunity to explore tools such as Office Online, OneNote Class Notebooks, Microsoft Forms, and Sway, including how to provide your students with learning experiences beyond the four walls of your classroom using Skype in the Classroom and the Microsoft Educator Community.

By completing the training, you will earn points towards a Certified MIE badge.  Attendees will also receive complimentary certification vouchers* for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exams enabling you to continue to advance your own professional development following this training.

The MIE Teacher Academy was created for teachers of all subjects by  teacher trainers. It was designed to give you an immersive experience using some of Microsoft's newest and best technology tools designed for the classroom.  We hope you leave with a new passion to transform teaching and learning, tips to help you save time and improve student outcomes, and resources for you and your students to get more out of the Microsoft products you love.

Minecraft: Education Edition
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Education Edition is an open world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination. During this 1-day, in-person Teacher Academy, you will receive an overview of Minecraft: Education Edition, learn to play the game, and create curriculum and classroom resources you can take back to your classroom and continue your journey.  Ensure you bring a Windows 10 device or Mac OSX for this BYOD hands on workshop.

By completing the training, you will earn points towards a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) badge and a completion certificate for your participation.  Attendees will also receive complimentary certification vouchers* for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exams enabling you to continue to advance your own professional development following this training.

Lunch:  We will break for lunch at which time you can grab lunch offsite or bring your own lunch.

Devices: Bring a Windows 10 device or Mac OSX for this BYOD hands on workshop.

*In order to comply with gifting policies, all Public Sector employees will be required to provide a signed gifting letter prior to receiving exam vouchers.

TC: 0 to 365 – Get Up to Speed with Office
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Craig McBainDirector of Technology, Chippewa Valley Schools; Shavonne Smith, Microsoft Learning Consultant, Microsoft, Inc.

Office 365 is new all over! Get hands-on with the full suite of web- and desktop tools. Explore new features for distributing, collecting, and assessing student work. Learn about classroom ready tools including Teams, OneNote and the OneNote Class Notebook, Learning Tools, Sway, Forms, and more.

Participants receive a OneNote resource notebook.

TC: Create, Support or Refine Your Own MakerSpace
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Amy Farkas, Middle School STEM Educator, Riverview Community Schools

How do you create, support or refine your own MakerSpace? Come learn how to create, support and champion your schools STEM classes using cheap and/or free resources embracing the Engineering Design Process while utilizing MakerSpace resources. If you are are STEM teacher or a coach, technology director, curriculum director that supports STEM, this session is for you.

TC: G Suite Admin Console Best Practices for 2018 School Districts
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Chris Dawson, Tierney Brothers Michigan Account SpecialistTierney Brother, Inc

Chromebooks have become powerful learning tools in education. In order to transform classrooms into an engaging, student centered learning space, administrators need to properly configure their G Suite domain. Come explore best practices with Tierney Brother Google Evangelists and your colleagues from across the Midwest. Session will be dynamic and will focus on class priorities.

Topics we will try and fit into the three hours session:

-Create and administer organizational units best practices
- Configure sharing settings, policies and reporting best practices
-Set up mobile policies and manage devices
-Design for security
-Configure and manage group settings

TC: Performance Evaluations for Personnel
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Julie Gillespie, Deputy Superintendent, Ottawa Area ISD

Learn how and when to evaluate employees, what documentation should be placed in the employee’s file and what type of follow-up should be completed. Examine discipline, discharge, and the probationary employee terms.

TC: Everyone Can Code
1:00  – 4:00 PM


We believe that coding is an essential skill. Learning to code unlocks creativity, develops problem-solving skills, and opens career paths. We think everyone should have the opportunity to create something that can change the world.

Join us to learn about Everyone Can Code, a new approach to coding that gives everyone the power to learn, write, and teach code. You’ll hear about the new Swift Playgrounds app that includes lessons for beginning coders. And you’ll explore curriculum materials K-12 that make it easy to bring coding into your school.

(This hands on session will include exploration of connected devices/robots with Swift Playgrounds.)

TC: Google NDA
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Peter Logli, Program Manager, Google for Education

Wouldn't it be nice, if when your teachers return after MACUL18 and share all the cool new Google tools and resources they want to use, that you knew something about them already? Come see what Google has planned for your classrooms and district! (NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement)

TC: Time Management
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Darryl Hofstra, Director of Transportation, Forest Hills Public Schools

Become a more effective manager by budgeting your time, identifying and assigning priorities, and establishing and achieving daily goals.

TC: VR/AR Using CoSpaces Edu
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Amy Farkas, Middle School STEM Educator, Riverview Community Schools

CoSpaces Edu is your creative platform for all ages and subjects. It complements traditional teaching methods by immersing students into a world where they can create, consume and connect with the curriculum on a completely new level, even through the revolutionary visual medium of virtual reality! 

If you are are STEM teacher or coach, technology director, curriculum director that supports STEM, this session is for you.

2017 Pre-conference session