Initially, I was excited to learn practical tips and cutting-edge technology. As the day progressed, I found myself enjoying the theoretically sessions and the ensuing conversations they produced. This was part of the beauty of the day. How many conferences lend themselves to conversations like this? Another cool part of the day was meeting some of the people I converse with on Twitter every day. Relationships develop on Twitter and when you meet people in person, those become tangible.
The day was so energizing, so exciting. Why isn't more of education like this? There is no reason why more professional and curriculum development can't occur organically in this manner. Nor does this need to be restricted to education. I met a relator who runs a similar conference and a technology consultant who believes in this model. People themselves can create so much! I also think we can do things like this with our students. Imagine a day when students are leading each other!!!!
|Some of the sessions|
Below are brief discussions of the sessions I attended (I also was able to follow other sessions via Twitter, but will leave that for others)
Session1: Rules for Revolutionaries @Patrix47
He shared two books for disruptive thinking: Disrupt and Rules for Revolutionaries. Although not an educator, he is concerned with some of the narrow thinking that is the norm in the ed reform. He also gave a brief guideline for disruption.
2. Show Problem
3. Insight, Idea
4. Opportunity, Idea for Change
6. Ra, Ra slide
7. what you will get
8. ethos (text)
He also stressed how disruption has purpose and is emotional.
Session 2: Truth - What is It? @classroomtools (Bill Chapman)
It was really neat to get a chance to meet and chat with Bill. Bill is a retired educator and someone I talk to nearly everyday on Twitter. He gave a wonderful philosophical discussion on seeing things from multiple perspectives and analyzing sources. Here is the outline he made for his session.
Session 3: Raising Good Digital Citizens @visionsbyvicky
This was a 45 minute conversation on how we define and teach digital citizenship. There was no presentation and really no path for the conversation. It was just a place where people could talk about the issues, successes, and questions we had about learning in the 21st century. It was fabulous as it was free-flowing. It seemed more like a conversation amongst staff, than professional development. It was great to learn from others in this way.
Session 4: QR Codes & Other Cell Phone Applications @alicekeeler
Although I knew much of the information that was discussed in the session, the conversation allowed me to better apply it to my classroom. It was also a small session so I was able to easily throw ideas around with other educators. Some of us were experienced with this technology, while other were just starting. But that was what made it good. Questions were being asked, questions were being answered and learning was everywhere.
Session 5: Socratic Seminars by @Ron_Peck
Once again I got the opportunity to meet somebody I interact with on Twitter. Ron Peck is a leader in the #sschat on Mondays. He drove all the way from Southern Oregon to exchange ideas. I really enjoyed this because Ron gave me a quick primer on Socratic Seminars via a wikipage and tweets almost a year ago. In this session, I was able to expand on a strategy that I like using but need more practice in implementation.