Our first speaker is Dave Weber. He was a new name to me. I'm not sure how I hadn't heard of this guy... he was amazing and I should have been following him a long time ago. His message was perfect for our staff this year. He was very energetic and gave himself fully to our group. He made us laugh... really, really laugh. We laughed because of his humor, his timing, his attitude, and energy. But mostly we laughed because everything he was saying was true. His message highlighted the fact that relationships MUST be a focus point in education and the rest will fall into place. He talked about relationships with students, other staff members, and the relationship we have with ourselves (all seven of ourselves it turns out). Great, GREAT kick off for our all staff (support, teachers, administration, grounds, bus drivers, custodians... really ALL STAFF) all schools (District office, early childhood center, 9 elementary, 4 middles, 3 high, and one alternative schools) Welcome Back!
I recently saw this video on Facebook from Atlanta Speech School that supported Dave Weber's message. check it out...
Anyone who has been following this blog for a while now, knows I have such an intellectual crush on George Couros... in fact, he was highlighted in my #Crush series last February (click here for previous post) He's Hot, Hot, Hot in Minnesota. He has been keynote speaker for so many conferences in Minnesota this last year. But this week... he was in Elk River.
@gcouros pushes the thought of technology use in education. Well, really he pushes the idea of what education can be. I could almost hear the light bulbs flicking on in the brains of so many of the amazing educators in the room. Couros is an innovator for sure, but his definition of what an innovative person is makes many people innovators that might have not otherwise thought of themselves as one. He said, if you are doing something new and implementing it in your classroom (in this case) then you are an innovator.
George talked about confidentiality and safety of students and technology (always a concern). He recommended that we should encourage students to teach and record their lessons. He wants students to have an online presence. And he wants us to teach and guide them on how to do so. We need to be where they are... we need to be on Twitter, Instagram, Vine... we need to have schools that allow access to Youtube and the apps I just listed above. And more than ever our students need to be able to use those resources for learning during the day at school.
If you like what I'm saying, or you don't... read his book The Innovator's Mindset. Let him challenge your thoughts of education. Also, I think Couros would invite you to challenge his ideas... ask him questions, and share your innovative ideas with him. I know I always invite that. There are so many ways to do the same thing and our online #PLN (personal learning network) is great at having amazing conversations with so many different perceptions.
Our staff at Hassan Elementary celebrated innovation. We have many teachers that started a Twitter account. They are starting school Instagram accounts. Teachers are planning to use Seesaw and Schoology. But we also celebrated the fact that one of my coworkers created a Google Form for the first time. Another coworker used the Die-Cut Machine for the first time. If it's new to you, and you implement the use of it, you're innovative.
My personal reflection brings me to the next many, many posts that I have in store for you. I will be sharing all the new and exciting celebrations and challenges that I implement in my classroom this year.