“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Monday, October 14, 2013

Push Your Limits

Hi! I spent last week in Mexico City, attending the 32nd Annual Tri-Association Educators' Conference 2013. The theme of this year's conference was "Pushing Our Limits". In fact, every keynote and session was geared towards pushing us one step further at a time.

With almost 1000 educators from different parts of the continent, there was a lot of learning happening and it turned out to be a very busy week. I truly enjoyed my time there:

  • I had the opportunity to present a workshop on Social Networking in Schools: Edmodo. The attendees were amazed at how easy and safe it is to use Edmodo in schools with young students. 
  • I attended the two day pre-conference session called "Understanding by Design" offered by one of the authors of this concept, Mr. Jay McTighe. A valuable take-away from this session is understanding what makes an Essential Question and how important it is to state them before starting a lesson.
  • I attended a few other sessions, such as, Creating a High Impact Digital Learning Environment, Developing a Successful Technology Integration Program, and 21st Century Fluencies for a Digital Age.
  • Last, but not least, I met many new teachers, technology coaches, technology integrators, old friends, and fellow ADEs.
The common denominator that kept coming up during the conference was 21st Century Learning & Teaching. Included are the 21st century skills, the 4, 5, and even 6 C's, sustainability, global issues, the future of education, and innovative forms to enhance the curriculum and learning programs.

In one way or another, the conference was addressing one or more of the C's. I'm sure you've heard of these. There are 4 C's in the 21st Century Learning Framework: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity.  Mr. Pat Bassett, the keynote speaker for day 1, introduces a fifth C: Character, and later a sixth C called Cosmopolitanism.

Any way you look at it, making sure we address the C's in our lesson planning and teaching is what makes us push our own limits to become innovative educators. I invite you to reflect on how are you taking action to prepare your students for the future.


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