This year, though, I attended.
I wonder how many others who present actually attend. Most, like me, gain their information from their own personal learning. However, it's beneficial to not always be the one leading - to be the one following. I'm so used to leading that I find it difficult to follow and I find it difficult to sympathize - at times - with followers. But, following is necessary at times. To be a leader, you have to be a follower.
So before I sum up my highlights and learning challenges, I challenge all those stuck in the presenter circuit to attend. To take a break from leading to be a follower. I plan to do it more this year. It was refreshing even though the content was not unique. It's the act of following that is important.
To kick off TCEA 2016, I went to the opening session of the STEM Academy. Keynotes and opening sessions are usually a lot of talk and no action. In fact, many sessions are. And, attendance in my own sessions is up when it is a lot of talk and little action. We, like our students, are trained to be receptacles of information. This needs to change.
Cindy Morris led the keynote with a fast-paced, high energy talk. She gave us about 20 seconds to turn to a partner to talk. Though, in a large room, this is a reluctant task. Again, we are trained receptacles. I argue that more sessions need to be structured in a maker format - more around creation.
That said, I left with a confirmation. It was not necessarily anything new, but it was confirmation of my beliefs.
My favorite take-aways included:
STEM Academy Opening Session: Using technology to engage students in problem solving
- Cindy Moss - @stemboss, Cindy_moss@discovery.com
- STEM is a culture, not a class
- It’s for ALL kids
- 70% of hs graduates wouldn’t qualify with lowest level of military b/c lack problem solving skills - says it’s a matter of national security
- Every 18 seconds, some student drops out of hs
- Banks hire 90% math majors & would hire 3 times as many if they could find them
- Stemconnector.org - sign up for Stem Daily
- 768,000 new stem jobs in Texas by 2018 - must get kids ready for this
- Change the equation - sign up for this email in organization
- 75% of all jobs will be 75% stem in a few years
- Many stem jobs you can get with little to no college jobs
- Graduating with a ton of debt does no one any good
- We need to be honest with kids about the job market
- Kids aren’t afraid of STEM - teachers are, but we need to help them not be
- Don’t pass on fears of math & science to kids
- Be a STEMINIST! - Girls should have opportunity to go into STEM
- Project STEM - by Duke university
- STEM is one of few industries where women make as much as men
- DOUBLE # of girls in STEM!!!!
- Students make decision to go in math & science by 6th grade
- You can’t be what you can’t see - why Google Cardboard is so great - show kids jobs they aren’t seeing
- STEM jobs are changing - 71% of jobs that need to be filled are in STEM, million jobs open in US because we can’t fill those jobs
- Behind music services is a whole bunch of statisticians - making at least 80,000/year
- Algorithms - developing these for companies - makes a lot of $$
- We need 80 hours of high quality, ongoing PD over two years - most fields have this
- We need 160 hours of high quality, ongoing PD over three years to change culture
- 4Cs - we need to teach these!!
- STEMformation Continuation - standards!
- We need these under a transdiscplinary theme - we don’t say we’re doing 2 hours of literacy, 2 hours of math, etc.
- FAIL - first attempt in learning
- Angry Birds creator - took 10,000 tries to get it!
- Reading like a scientist
- Give kids problems to solve & make them figure it out
- STEMtastic Staturday - play being a Stem person
- discoveryeducation.com/STEM - a whole lot of free resources - STEM Camp
- The more diverse the people solving the problem, the more robust the solution
The Making of a Makerspace
- Jason Harron - @jrharmon - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maker movement started around 20016 - with idea that we are all makers
- White House supports
- Bill passed by colleges & school educators calling for need in K-12 education
- 1200+ hacker/makerspaces around US
- The 4Cs are what we want- these are the qualities we want in all professions
- Tortillas/Cookies under laser printer to engrave thigns
- Montessori schools - hands on -
- Constructionism - different than constructivism - final product you can see, hear, touch - and learning is physical in world
- New UT building has 10,000 sq. ft. of maker spaces available
- ATX hackerspace - has full car lift
- Agencybydesign.org - design thinking principal - broke it down into four steps - maybe use this for maker class
- FabLearn conference - held Oct. 14-16 - need to attend! - buff.ly/1RGcyZI
- SX Create - Mar. 11-13 - Maker aspect of SXSWedu - don’t need SXSW wrist band & it’s free!!! At Palmer Events Center
- Go beyond banana piano
- Use Arduino to code teddy bears
- Drimmel tools - more child-safe, Skill also has tools for lighter materials with guards
Leading Innovative Change
- George Couros - @gcouros
- Innovation - invention or iteration - something totally new or a reiteration of something existing
- We expect innovation in everything outside of what we work in
- What innovation is and isn’t
- What is it actually changing vs. changing for changes sake
- Taking out candy of vending machines & replacing it with good stuff is not innovation
- Saying that kids will figure it out is not always right - not all are proficient so - do need an adult guidance and the longer you wait the more afraid you’ll get - “the suspense at the top is what freaks you out”
- Don’t fit people into job titles - find great people & give them titles
- Competitive collaboration
- We’re missing notion of competition - no one wants to be the weakest, but someone always is
- We push each other to get better, though
- We don’t want “mind your own business learning.” We want to ask - what is tech allowing us to do that we couldn’t do before - we must collaborate
- 5 elements of leadership
- Strength-based leadership
- Best people to teach this are these passionate educators - and have them go to places they love
- Powerful learning first, technology second
- Business vs. Education - don’t base what we use vs. what makes sense for business. For instance, don’t use Office 365 just because the IT dept. feels comfortable with it
- Ask - what is best for kids, how does this improve learning, if we were to do ----, what is the balance of risk vs. reward, is this serving the few or the majority.
- Power is about what you can control, freedom is about what you can unleash - our jobs as teachers is to get others to unleash
- Creating meaningful learning
- Teachers should be responsible for their own learning now
- To innovate, disrupt your routine
- How do yo move people from their point a to their point b
- How do you disrupt the routine of other
- Stop giving meanings with handouts - if they say they have to use paper, show them how to print
- Less is more - paradox of choice - TED talk to walk - a lot of people can’t make choices
- Literate - adaptive - trans-formative
- Focus on just a few and know them inside out
- Move to meaningful creation
- Embrace an open culture
- When kids leave school, they should be well-Googled - you need to develop your Google footprint
- We live in a world where everyone can have a voice - but how are we using it
- We are data-driven - but need to think about - what are we really good at and why
- I think, I question, I design, I create, I struggle, I collaborate, I try, I solve, I invent, I reflect, I LEARN
- You can’t ignore change-makers - they push human race forward. The crazy ones...
- Registration is a challenge. You can purchase premium, basic, or exhibit only. Basic entitles you to sessions labeled as basic. You cannot get into any of the full-day academies. You also function on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you may be spending a lot of your time sitting on the floor, waiting in line. If you purchase premium, you can get into a lot of sessions. However, you are put into a pool and it's also first come, first serve. This year, I went online immediately at the time that sessions opened up for registration, but due to technical difficulties on the conference's website, I was unable to get into 80% of the sessions I wanted to attend.
- Badges - way too expensive. This year, I presented a total of 6 times. I am happy presenting. However, it also means that I spend a lot of time rushing, and not a lot of time getting to attend sessions. Since presenters cannot attend as many sessions, there needs to be a discounted or free fare. In my hurry of presenting 5 times in one day, I lost my badge. I discovered that it would be $10 to replace it. Unfortunately, you have to have it in order to get into sessions. My suggestion - make it electronic. Send the badge code to phones so they can be scanned. This will save paper, hassle, and increase conference satisfaction.
- I love having so many presenters, but it can also be overwhelming and not all are created equal. I would love to have sessions more easily divided into tracts.
- Less overlapping of academies. I presented in the Google Academy, but it was at the same time as the STEM academy so I could not attend many sessions. Perhaps one academy a day would help eliminate this.
- Keep on, keeping on. I love seeing the excitement in educators' eyes the first time they attend TCEA. They are blown away with ideas. But, support for those ideas is critical. Perhaps a follow-through on workshops would help - plus, it would boost the conference's image.
Next up, I head to SXSWedu. Though, I discovered SXSW Create which I am more excited about. This year, no presenting - just attending. This is my time to listen to and follow others.
When will you be listening again?