Thursday, March 12, 2015

#SXSWEdu Day 3

By Day 3, my head was spinning!  And still I attended 2 excellent "extended" sessions!

The first one was three hours with NPR_Ed.  They are doing a series on 50 Great Teachers.  The fun part of the story was that one of their choices is a colleague.  I've been following "mathequalslove" online, loving her teaching ideas!  It was great to finally meet her in person!

Near the end of the session, the panel presented ideas for what defines a great teacher:
  • Having a principal willing to encourage taking risks
  • Finding one colleague that you can talk to down the hall
  • Connecting with teachers like you
  • Realizing that innovation and standardization don't go together
  • Great passion, very humble, a negotiator, able to break the rules
  • Strong knowledge of your discipline
  • Able to explain a topic in as many ways as possible
  • Able to create an environment in which students are willing to take risks
One of the last questions stuck with me ... are great teachers rare? Oftentimes, teachers don't know who the other "great" teachers are ... we are somewhat isolated in our classrooms.  We rarely get to see the great teaching in other classrooms.  Unless we are well connected we may not know how often other teachers walk into classrooms ready and willing to try new ideas.

I attended a hands-on session later in the day.  We spent 2 hours learning about visual literacy ... sketchnotes, photography, and movie making.  The presenters arranged for us to have iPads for the session.  I used iMovie, Snapseed, and Slow Shutter.  The three presenters were engaging.  They talked fast!  They demonstrated their work, provided instructions, and then structured activities for us.  We sketched our notes.  We had to take a still picture of a hand(s) that represented power.  And last we had to create a 15 second video incorporating three parts of a story using specific camera skills.  They worked us hard!  I would love to share some of the ideas presented with my students!

These five hours stretched my thinking and motivated me to consider how I could use "great" ideas in my classroom!




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