27 March 2011

ASCD 2011: Sunday Workshop Worship

It was suggested to me by another member of the press/blogging community (*cough*) that following my "Live. Nude. Notes." post (which is driving the search engines wild), that I title this one "Barely Legal Coverage of the ASCD Conference." But considering that my day began riding the bus to the conference with a bunch of nuns clutching their lattes, perhaps today is one that should be devoted to contemplation and reflection at the altar of staff development.

In the morning, I started out in 21st Century Skills for a 20th Century Curriculum with Bruce Taylor (from the National Opera) and Liz Eder (from the Smithsonian). An excellent start to the day (you can download my notes here). I was interested in this session mainly because of the presenters. It's not often that you get arts educators---especially ones from outside the K-12 system---talking about technology. They were off to a fabulous start, but I was so enthused by the description of this session (which started 30 minutes later), I snuck out. Big mistake. The presentation started out to be rather promising---not many people are talking about how to use interactive whiteboards in a student centered way. And then, there was a parade of demos. Argh.

The afternoon was better. I attended Fisher and Frey's session on Responding When Students Don't Get It. (my notes and their PowerPoint, flowchart, and questioning guide). These were presenters well-skilled in communicating with an audience. I have read their books, but really enjoyed the opportunity to engage again with the ideas and talk about them with Jason and Jen. I also found it interesting how powerful it is to look at samples of teaching, even in an arena-style presentation. Fisher and Frey did a fabulous job building our background knowledge in order to apply their work to the videos. Very impressive---I'm a total convert now.

My final session was Visual Literacy: Learning Content and Skills with Pictures by Mark Newman and Donna Ogle. (Click the links to download my notes and their handout.) This session was also outstanding. I love the simple strategies and methods they suggested to help students use visuals in more constructive ways. A truly excellent way to end Day Two of Learning.

If you'd like to see what others are writing about the conference, you can see the list of acolytes bloggers here.

Tonight, I am off to a reception for the ASCD Conference Scholars (including yours truly) to imbibe some holy water...then back to the room to run through my presentation a time or two. I present first thing Monday morning (8:30 a.m.). And at high noon...I'm off to Skywalker Ranch. (Squee!)

Now, go in peace.

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