Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Reflection on the MACUL Conference

Last week I attended the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference. I always look forward to attending this conference as it affirms my belief in educational technology, re-energizes me, and re-connects me face-to-face with many friends.

I am proud of Jenison Public Schools for sending more educators to this conference than ever before. Over 40 staff members attended to find ways to further their use of educational technology. Wow! With that many educational leaders participating, positive changes can't be far ahead for Jenison staff and students.

It was a busy conference for me as I presented four sessions. Those sessions and the associated resources can be found here. Feel free to share. Because much of my time was spoken for, I typically try to attend the keynote and featured speaker sessions. Here are a few thoughts from sessions I attended.

Whatever Happened to Joy?

Dean Shareski (@shareski)

Dean does a fantastic job of "humanizing" education. Too often, we lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with humans. We need to work harder at putting "Joy" into the lives of our students AND ourselves.

A Dean Shareski quote: 

No one's ever going to put "Being Happy" in the curriculum.

True. Sad, but true.

Innovate. Create. Voice.

George Couros (@gcouros)

George is entertaining as well as thought provoking. The tissue count goes up in George's sessions.

A George Couros quote: 

Ask yourself...Would you want to sit and learn all day in your own classroom?

Rapid Changes and the World of Teaching

Rushton Hurley (@rushtonh)

Rushton has a worldly view on education. He loves to tell his stories with video. Captivating. Entertaining. Motivational. The MOST memorable thing I took away from Rushton's session was related to a story he shared about a Chinese school "superintendent" who challenged his staff to "Innovate Wildly". Wow! Yes. Go forth and do that. Innovate Wildly.

That two word phrase is what I want to take back to the staff AND students at Jenison Public Schools. Innovate Wildly. Throw caution to the wind and Innovate Wildly.

But, keep Dean in mind. Do your Wild Innovation with a sense of joy and happiness.

And also keep George in mind. Make sure that your Wild Innovation is done in a way that students WANT to learn all day in your classroom.

The one sentence summary of these three sessions:

In your educational space, innovate wildly so that students willingly and happily learn!


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