Developing Digital Literacies Conference


Sketchnote by Kate Baker

We are still glowing from the inspiration, collaboration, and presentations at our first #DrewTEACH Winter Conference! Our participants were treated to a keynote by author Renee Hobbs. In her keynote, “Create to Learn”, Hobbs reminded teachers that at the core of all digital work, “the foundation skills are still reading and writing”. She also reiterated our unofficial DLC motto, that teachers should, “tinker, explore, and fail”. Hobbs also challenged the audience of pre-service and veteran educators to engage students by getting messy and embracing chaos in our classrooms. Audience members were so inspired by Renee’s keynote that the ensuing Twitterstorm actually had our conference trending on Twitter!


Check us out at number 3!

During the keynote, Kate Baker another stellar NJ educator, created a sketchnote of Renee’s speech. The image, at the top of the page is not only beautiful, but highlights the multi-modality of our work.

After the keynote, participants traveled to one of the six morning demonstrations presented by our DLC Teacher Leaders.


Our iHero, Natalie Biden, presenting “Start Them Young: Digital Reading in the Elementary Classroom”

Prior to lunch participants were able to get copies of Renee Hobbs’ and Kristen Turner’s books signed!


Renee Hobbs and Kristen Turner during the lunchtime book signing.

Our afternoon sessions were just as successful as our morning demos. The afternoon even found teachers running through the Ehinger Center trying to complete a challenge presented by Emilie Jones’ “Tweets, Trailers, and Talks: Making Reading Connected” demo.


A packed house for DLC founding member, Emilie Jones’, demonstration

The day closed out with a Tech Talk by Dr. Kristen Turner. Participants had to fill up “dance cards” by chatting with fellow educators about their favorite tools.


Educators filling up their Tech Tool Dance Cards

We also were able to share our exciting news! During the closing session Kristen announced that Drew University’s new Master of Education program had been approved the night before. We were also able to announce that Drew Writing Project had been approved as one of the newest National Writing Project sites.

Participants and presenters alike left the day feeling happy in their teacher hearts. With so many new and exciting things happening with DrewTEACH we cannot wait to continue our work with this growing network of educators.


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