Last week I attended the NCCE conference in Seattle along with fellow MIEEs to learn, share and discuss a variety of EdTech topics coupled with reviewing a few relevant NGSSs. Needless to say, this left my brain in an inspired overwhelmed state of exhaustion. The key words of the conference for me was the keynote speaker Kevin Honeycutt’s “tradigital learning” as he described a balance between past, present and future is essential as we move education forward. Over the course of the conference, I did some rethinking, reevaluating and synthesizing new ways to keep the good from traditional learning environments as well as to continually move into the digital world of context and invention.
Synopsis of Learning Opportunities
1) MIE Trainer Academy. I attended a train the trainer session, which will help me help my colleagues best utilize Office 365 in our classrooms. Good ideas, new ideas to showcase for my fellow teachers
2) Online gaming resources. The good news is that games work in the classroom, but bad news you can screw it up.
3) Maker-space mindset. To create inventors, scientists and thinkers, we need celebrate small steps for both teachers and students. Additionally, we need to think of PBLs (project based learning) not just as a project oriented learning – there’s a big difference in the outcome.
5) Exhibits, so much to see, hear and learn about, namely the differences between Class Policy over LanSchool, what eRate is, gadgets, gizmos and demos of OneNote in the classroom.
6) Keynote speakers – those inspirational people that make you think. As I mentioned earlier, Kevin Honeycutt was funny, inspirational, realistic, and strongly encouraged us to tell our stories. He reiterated what we know to be true that in the classroom of life the “front row are policy makers, back row are bystanders” and you can either be “global or snowglobal” in your school. The choices are ours to make but we are helped by those who step in and believe in us. And when you think you have thought as much as you can think about your own strengths and challenges then Cheryl Strayed spoke. She wove her personal narrative of her mom and her own story of moving on, rites of passages and mastering the things because they scare you. Ultimately as #robynworks eloquently said “if you’re not uncomfortable then you’re not learning.”