I was hoping to put up a “Day 1 recap” post at the end of the first day….didn’t happen. Monday was an absolute whirlwind as I, along with fellow SCH Academy reps (Betty Ann Fish @bafish10, Stephanie Moore @MsMooreSCH, Mary Ann Domanska @mdomanska, Karen Kolkka @kolkkartist, and Ellen Fishman-Johnson ADE) bounced from one workshop to another. I’ll try to keep this post as short as possible (which may be hard as there was so much knowledge passed on to all us yesterday), so I can get back to this incredible conference. With that said, please forgive any/all grammar mistakes as I’m in a rush.
I’d like to begin this post with a pretty funny story demonstrating the power of social media. Soon after boarding my flight to San Diego, while putting my carry on bag above my seat, I hear a voice say…”Vince, your brother says hi.” Looking around somewhat confused, I see Chris Lehmann who I know from Twitter and from an amazing presentation given at Springside several years ago. I was a bit perplexed (and sort of proud) that Chris remembered who I was, given that I only briefly met him while he was at Springside, ……Yea, he had no idea who I was. Ha! At any rate, Chris was checking in on the plane via Twitter, to which my brother Tom had been following. Tom responded to Chris’ check-in with the following:
As coincidence would have it, Chris must have clicked on my Twitter page, and just happened to see my goofy face a row in front of him knocking people over with carry on bags. At any rate, this was a great beginning to #iste12 for me. I ran into Chris again in the airport and he was kind enough to provide me with info on his workshop “Beyond Googling: Using Technology to Build A Culture of Inquiry.” The session was at the end of a long day for me, but proved to be a great one. When Chris spoke at Springside I was in more of a tech support / network management role, so while I recognized the value of his presentation, it wasn’t’ very relevant to my daily duties. This time was much different, and while I’d rather not regurgitate his ideas, I will give a brief summary of my takeaways. For those not familiar with Lehmann, he is the founder of the Science Leadership Academy in our hometown of Philadelphia. SLA is a project-based (sound familiar?) school focusing on core values of Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Presentation, and Reflection. He focused on Inquiry during the hour long session; what it creates and complicates, and how Guided Inquiry in the classroom can lead to a passion-based environment where students feel not just engaged, but empowered. There is so much more to his message, but rather than me butchering it, go ahead and take a look his slideshare preso.
A key takeaway of mine from the past week following our Design Thinking and the ISTE workshops, is that the paradigm shift currently taking place in education is based on a process that always begins with a question and ends with a project that SHOULD BE important to students. Although it appears to me that buzz-phrase “project-based learning” is somewhat of a misnomer for what we should be calling passion-based learnig, the process always includes brainstorming/ideation, COLLABORATION (bold because it’s so important), iteration, presentation, and reflection or assessment of some sort. Design Thinking, Inquiry, Project-Based Learning, Passion-Based Learning, Game-Based Learning, etc., they’re all based on similar frameworks. We just need to get the process right! So let’s brainstorm, iterate, collaborate, assess, and continue to make SCH one of the best schools around.
I’ll be back with another post reflecting on a few of the other valuable workshops I have attended, including an amazing keynote presentation by Zhao Zong who referenced Philadelphia as “wusses” in his speech. Stay tuned!
As always, here is my Daytime humor clip. Who said the iPad is intuitive?????