I beg to differ

HB Tech Fest Review

on May 30, 2014


Yesterday, May 29, 2014, I had the privilege of attending and briefly presenting at Huntington Beach Tech Fest. It was an awesome, 80s-themed experience for students and teachers alike. I learned so much about social media and technology!

The event started with a social breakfast. We were organized into teams to complete “quests” for points. I found that this was the only activity lacking throughout the day – I submitted a few quests before the keynote, but totally forgot about them later. I met a lot of teachers from other schools, some of them who surprisingly knew who I was…through my twitter handle!

photo (1)

My nametag…I think I’m clever

The morning started off with an introduction by Mr. Chris Long, the organizer. Then there was a wonderful keynote by Amy Burvall, co-creator of ‘historyteachers’ music videos on Youtube, and Theory of Knowledge teacher at Le Jardin Academy. I have been following her on Twitter for some time now, so I am familiar with her work…but even the people who had never heard of her were captivated by her talk on “MTV: mobile, transliterate, visible”. During the talk, I was busy moderating the @HBTechFest Twitter account by following the #HBtechfest tag and retweeting key points. Funnily enough, when I looked up from my phone, half the audience was looking at their iPads, computers, or phones. It wasn’t that they weren’t paying attention, they were just listening and tweeting!


My first drawing made with Paper

Mrs. Burvall creates amazing hand-drawn slides with an app called “Paper” by 53. See her slide notes here.

Next was my presentation with Mr. Ziebarth. We discussed our networked reading of Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work! with @Braddo on Twitter (post on that here). I received a lot of positive feedback from teachers 🙂 which was enough to make my day.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.22.58 PM

Believe it or not, seeing teachers share your work is super encouraging

We split up into groups to read, annotate, and discuss different chapters of the book. I even received my own free copy of Show Your Work! 😀 THEN, as a lovely surprise, we all got onto a Google Hangout with Austin Kleon! Austin was very straightforward and humble when he answered questions – he wasn’t afraid to admit his shortcomings and doubts, which I thought was admirable.

selfie with austin kleon

#selfie #collannotationsgang

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Straight-faced but he’s really fanboying inside

Even @Braddo joined in on the fun!

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.55.57 PM

After that was a karaoke lunch full of 80s songs. (Side note: Weirdly enough, I knew most of the songs on the day’s playlist because my siblings were born in the late 80s, haha.) I got to interview Amy for the tech fest video! and there were Twitter cookies! and delicious MTV cupcakes! and Mr. Z did not one, but TWO karaoke songs! Yeah, lunch was fun.

I was conflicted on what session to attend next, but finally decided to stick to Amy’s Remix{ED}. I’m glad I did! Her presentation showed so many examples of remixes, a lot of which were HILARIOUS. Then, we created our own cut-up poems & mashup monsters.


Overall, HB Tech Fest was unforgettable experience that was WAY better than the day of school I missed. I hope it inspired all the attendees to transform education into a much more interactive and fun experience!


Thank Yous (because it is that nostalgic, end-of-the-year time):

Mr. Ziebarth, for being a great, creative teacher that lets us use tech in the classroom. I have learned so much in your class!

Mr. G-O, for introducing me to the potential of Google services way back in freshman year, and for supporting me.

Mr. Theriault, for encouraging me to apply for English Honors 2 (also way back in freshman year) and for showing me how fun English class can be.

Mr. Long, for inviting me to Tech Fest and letting me take over the @HBTechFest account.

and finally, Mrs. Amy Burvall and Mr. Brad Ovenell-Carter, for liking my work and having awesome conversations with me over Twitter. I hope we continue to chat 🙂

All of you are amazing teachers!!!


2 responses to “HB Tech Fest Review

  1. sz says:

    Afraah, you were AMAZING! You were smooth and spot on during your presentation, you were thorough and generous running the conference Twitter account and you beat me (and plenty) others to the punch with this rockin’ blog post.

    It’s been an honor and a joy learning with you this year!!

  2. Great Reflection! Thanks so much for sharing your day with us and helping to make it a success. I’m so glad you’re NOT a senior. We get to have you one more year! Start thinking on how we can make this better.

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