I spent the day at EdxEdNYC (pronounced “Ed by Ed”) which was hosted by Hudson High School for Learning Technologies (@HudsonHSLT). The school’s principal, Nancy Amling (@amlingnancy), opened up the day of professional learning saying that professional learning is best when it’s for educators by educators. I second that.
Superintendent Marisol Bradbury talked about wanting to celebrate teaching and relationships with the attendees at EdxEdNYC. She celebrated and explained the “instructional core” as the relationship you have with your students and your content. It was awesome to hear a super indent from the NYCDOE talk about the need to change the role of student from passive to active while increasing the rigor of the task. Both of these require changing the role of the teacher. She stressed many times that relationships are key. I second that too. 🙂
I found out students at Hudson HSLT widely use their individual digital portfolios which are publicly accessible here: Hudsonbigideaproject.com (click on mentoring). Also, there’re awesome photos of students and teachers throughout the building. I loved looking around hallways!
I attended a session touted as an Intro to Blended Learning led by Tim Comer (@cabrianed). His site is here: cabrianed.com
Tim listed these 3 pillars of Blended Learning:
1. Use of technology to give students choice and agency
2. Students work at their own pace
3. Let students know their proficiency and communicate with them about their mastery of learning
Basically this is similar to the best special education accommodations which is all about allowing students to function in the least restrictive environment.
I later attended a session led by Jason Levy (@Levy_Jason) about leading change while integrating technology in school. Jason had awesome insights about forming action plans that are similar to the design thinking exercise of “Define the Problem” that @DonBuckley preaches.
There were many great Ignite sessions including one by Juliette LaMontagne (@jlamontagne) about @ProjectBreaker (more info at http://breaker.org) and one by Fernand Bruncshwig (@Fernwig) about the amazing PD opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and math teachers (STEM) at @STEMteachersNYC. Check them out at http://www.stemteachersnyc.org
As someone who has organized or presented at a bunch of events, it was a pleasure for me to sit back and just be an attendee. I met great people, many of whom are teachers at Hudson HSLT. Also, I was duly impressed by the organizers who put together a really great and well-organized inaugural conference. I hope it turns into an annual day of learning.