Day two of NETA 2015 was filled with great sessions. I was excited from the start after visiting the vendors and realized that 3D printers are not as expensive as I thought. An 8th grade Science teacher and I are looking into writing a grant for a machine for our school. We plan to use it to create models for science class, integrate into teaching of engineering in science, and hope to expand to other subject areas as well.
I got reaquainted with an old love at NETA, augmented reality. I have not had the chance to use AR much in the last couple of years. I was exposed to some new tools that have reignited that spark. I can't wait to find ways to use Leslie Fisher's ideas to use AR in the classroom. I forgot how useful Aurasma and other AR tools can be in the classroom.
Eric Bell, from Lexington Public Schools, showed how he helped his district move away from textbooks and have a completely digital curriculum. He explained the process for creating the digital repository that was completely aligned to each state standard. Every class in the social sciences has a repository with a curriculum guide, concepts and skills, unit summary, vocabulary, links, PDFs, PowerPoints, videos, podcasts, and more. The reason for creating these repositories is to have a curriculum and all pieces needed for any teacher to come into their district and be comfortable teaching that class. This way if a really good teacher leaves, a new teacher is not starting from scratch. Every social science teacher in the district contributes materials for everyone to use.
During the Ignite Your Learning session, Michelle Baldwin, Ann Feldmann, Kristen Swanson, Mickie Mueller, Corey Dahl, Beth Still, and Otis Pierce led a fast-paced session on many topics ranging from embracing failure and learning from it to making sure laughter is present in your life to help destress to sketchnotes to see your notes visually to help retention. this session was fast but effective.
Devin Schoening led a session reminding us to let students be amazing. We need to provide opportunities for kids to be amazing. We need to allow wonder and curiosity. He reminds us that the futer belongs to the curious. Our classrooms should be places for posing questions, not just answering them. Teachers need to foster and incubate student interests and passion whenever possible. If we want our kids to be passionate about learning, we need to be passionate when we teach. We need to be the model of passion and lead by example. Remember to share your ideas. What may be obvious to you, is amazing to others.