Back at school for a teacher workday this morning several folks have asked how Educon was. After a brief chat with one, she asked me, "How has your thinking changed?" I had to admit I couldn't answer yet. I needed to carve out some reflection time. So, here goes.
The first session I attended was on policy. Whether or not the four who presented that session are typical of those involved in making policy I can't say. I appreciate their presence at this conference and I'm grateful to them for sharing their perspective and inside information with us. I left that session with a sense of empowerment, an idea that I could get involved. They've got a great google doc with information and ideas. We'll see what happens, but I'm hopeful this session was the kick I needed to stretch myself in a new direction. I'd like to invite people in to see our classroom and my students, to help give them a sense of the realities and possibilities. Through those invitations (accepted or not) I hope to build some relationships and work to make my voice heard. Stating this publicly will be one way to keep me accountable in this goal.
The last session I was able to attend asked the question, Is the Internet Making Us Stupid? I enjoyed the structure of this session - they had collected interesting, provocative quotes from the book The Shallows and we moved to points in the room to indicate our agreement or disagreement with each statement. This led to some really fabulous discussion. I don't think there was anything from this session that has changed my thinking right at this moment. What it did was raise a lot of questions for me about how what we do affects how our brains work. It brought new ideas into the forefront of my thinking and I will continue to be pondering them. That may be all that happens or it may lead to something more. I have no idea.
I have just skimmed the surface of Educon and my experience there in this post. Writing it, however, helped me synthesize my thinking and reflect. I need to keep doing that.
I'm definitely a fan of the slow burn of thought. The raising of questions might be the answer to how to make any learning experience more transformational. It creates a hunger of curiosity.
I'm excited to see the questions you wrestle with in the weeks to come.
Both sessions sound interesting! I've been craving some solid, relevant professional development lately....
I am wondering how you find the time to blog so much. As a pre-service teacher with two kids under 4, I don’t have time for much of anything beyond homework. I rarely have time for the gym. My wife and I finally had a date after I don’t know how many…
So how do you blog, and how do you do it in the public arena and feel safe?
MrTeacherMan - you've got some big questions there. It seems to me they might be worth grappling with just between us. Send me an email and we can chat some - jenorr at gmail dot com.
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