Last week I attended SummerSpark 2010 hosted by The Oakridge Academy in Arlington Texas. It gave me a chance to meet Jason Kern (also known as @jasonmkern on Twitter) face to face and see the good things he is doing at Oakridge as well as spend some great time with Christian Long before his family moves to Ohio. While this was the first time for Oakridge to host this event about 60 people were there and as always there was Twitter chatter and back channeling going on while the keynotes were happening.
I sent out a tweet saying "how is it that teachers continue to pull out the same lesson plans when they have not met their students yet? Just a thought. " This tweet was then picked up by Shelly Blake-Plock, also known for his Teach Paperless twitter name and blog and he wrote about my tweet here.
While I would love to take credit for that tweet being my original thinking I can't. That statement was made by Alfie Kohn while speaking at Gary Stager's Creating Modern Knowledge in Manchester, NH two summers ago. It is a statement that has resounded in my thinking ever since I heard it. Shelly has some good things to say about it at his blog so I urge you to visit there.
But more important is this question: Have you considered attending Gary Stager's CMK 2010? Either the one day version before ISTE 2010 in Denver or his four day event in Manchester? If not why not? Some of the best minds will be in New Hampshire with Gary. The other thing I took away was creating workspace for students and then letting them do exactly that work the way they want to work, and create and solve. I laughed seeing some of the adults that were there struggling because they wanted more direction, more instruction.
So often we want to walk students step by step because WE have so much WE want to cover and yet do not give the students the time to "tinker" or "play" because that is not in the curriculum. It is time we all met our kids before we structured up the environment so that we too can learn something about them as people and not just heads in a room where we teach a subject. I hope you seriously consider CMK it will be worth your time.
Where are you doing your learning this summer?
So much to learn and so little time.