In Which an Educon Newbie Reflects

One-Liners & Pithy Questions I Took Away from Sunday Sessions 3264112407_278e67eb32_m

From Daren Kuropatwa & Dean Shareski’s session, “What’s Wrong with this Picture”:

Comment on a YouTube video: “I don’t care if this video wasn’t true. It made me happy.”

From Dean Shareski & Alec Couros’ session, “The Ethical Obligation to Teach, Learn, & Share Globally”:

If there is no sharing, there is no education.

Giving credit to people whose ideas you use is about developing and living in a manner that is respectful of and caring for other people, not just about being afraid of plagiarizing.

What if you wrote a note on someone’s blog telling them how you used one of their ideas, and thanking them for it? (Dean suggested three a day!)

From Darren Draper, Dave Doty, & Scot McCombs’ session: “The Reality of Enabling School Change: A Story of Risk, Hurdles, and Hope”:

Can large-scale school reform happen without external circumstances, such as legislation, requiring it? HOW?

From Teresa Bunner’s Encienda Presentation:

When we talk about thinking outside the box, it’s important to remember that we all inhabit different boxes. What’s outside for me might be completely different from what’s outside for you.

Random Thoughts, in no Particular Order

Δ I learned through experience what it means to have my feet fly out from under me. This morning, I lay on the sidewalk about threIce Blankete blocks from Science Leadership Academy. The nice part was having Erin, an SLA science teacher, come upon me. (Otherwise, I might have lain there for a while, contemplating the invisible ice I was suddenly seeing up close & personal.) As we walked to SLA, I learned about the application process for students: an interview at SLA on one of two weekend interview days, a response to a writing prompt, and a project they’d done. There were about 1,000 applicants for 125 spots for the upcoming year. Erin was grateful that SLA students participate in the interviewing of prospective students. When I asked if the SLA curriculum was a college prep curriculum, Erin said that while not all kids who come to SLA plan to go to college, they are all really smart. How wonderful to work with a school full of bright kids who *chose* to be there.

◊ I was surprised to find so many Canadians, and so few urban educators. I wondered what the conference would have been like with a different mix of attendees.

→ I found myself wondering what people meant when they talked about “innovation.” I would have liked to have had some always-on communication device open during the conference– a Google Doc, a wall with sticky notes, flip chart paper & markers, Wallwisher, something– where people could have posted their thoughts or questions about the nature of innovation. I did leave with observations about the themes that seemed to be associated with innovation: conversation, speaking *and* listening; a willingness to accept and inquire into disagreement; a willingness to ask tough questions; a willingness to embrace different perspectives; a willingness to take a risk or two. And, perhaps, the ability to not take oneself too seriously.

» The SLA kids were polite, respectful, and worked their tails off. What a marvelous experience for adults and kids to work together on something like Educon.



“Give, take n’ share ,” © 2009 Funchye, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license:

“Ice Blanket,”  © 2006 caribb, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license

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