Hey, high school...

@MrBrettClark 1 Comments

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook when the post below came across my screen from a former student of mine. With her permission, I now share it with you:

This was my reply to her: (It's not perfect but it was what came to mind in that moment.)
I agree with the majority of what you're saying. I also think a great number of classes we offer in high school should be optional. The only part I disagree with is that "nobody needs to know the height of an airplane from the ground" part of your post. 

While the vast majority of people will not need to know that, some people will need to know. However, those things should be taught to those people who are wanting to go into that field of work. 

Unfortunately a great deal of what teachers teach is out of their control. We teach what the state tells us to teach. It's unfortunate that the state doesn't listen to those of us who see the need for the changes you've mentioned. 
I then told her about the website for StuVoice and encouraged her to get involved beyond just a Facebook post.

Agree with me or my student or not, there is often a huge disconnect between what is taught in schools and what our students are interested in.

So here is my question for you, reader.

How do you tap into your students interest, either as an individual or as a school, while still teaching the mandated overstuffed curriculum that you are required to teach?


#GCCC13 - A Connected Conference

@MrBrettClark 0 Comments

There are few things more beneficial to me in the work I do than being a connected educator.  Being connected gives me a place to learn, share ideas, collaborate, give and receive inspiration. So when I had to the opportunity to put on a conference, I wanted to help create a conference that highlighted the power of being a connected educator. I also wanted to have a strong focus on technology integration. 

With the blessing of my school district and the help of the Indiana DOE's Summer of eLearning, we announced The Greater Clark Connected Conference earlier this month! (Side Note: Just to clarify, the conference is named after my school district, not after me. Ha ha!)

Here are some of things we've announced so far. 

Keynotes: The EduBros Nick "The Nerdy Teacher" Provenzano and Timothy Gwynn!

These guys were my number 1 choice from day one. I wanted to have speakers who were connected educators, great at leveraging technology for learning, and would inspire our attendees. Nick and Tim do all of that and more! Just listen to their podcast: Hooked on BamRadio and you'll know why we wanted them to keynote our inaugural conference. Also, check out The Nerdy Teacher and Edtech State of Mind

We are all so thrilled that The EduBros will be kicking off our morning and be with us throughout the day! 

Spotlight Speaker: Tom Whitby

If you ask any connected educator for their top 10 people to follow on Twitter, I almost guarantee that they'll all have Tom Whitby in their list. Most will probably have him in their top 5. He's the epitome of a connected educator, a life-long learner, and a friend to all educators. I encourage you to join Tom on The Educator's PLN, read My Island View, and listen to #edchat Radio. Plus, check out SmartBlogs on Education, for whom Tom is a contributing editor and I'm fortunate to write for every now and then. 

I am so pumped that Tom has agreed to come and our attendees will benefit greatly from him being there! 

Now for some quick details:

When: July 25, 2013 from 8 am to 4 pm

Cost: $25 for Non-Greater Clark County School employees. Includes all sessions, workshops, breakfast and lunch! Registration opens up the first week of April!!

Sessions: Conference will be broken into 2 hour learning windows. During a 2 hour learning window attendees can go to one 2-hour workshop or two 45-minute concurrent session with a 30-minute collaboration break in between.

Propose a session: We are now accepting proposals for sessions! We will notify you if your proposal has been accepted the middle of April. The conference fee will be waved for our presenters. 

We are also looking for more partners and sponsors! Learn more HERE.

I hope you will fit us into your schedule! It's going to be a great day of learning. Please follow our official twitter account, like us on Facebook, and check out our conference website! If you tweet about the conference, use our official hashtag #GCCC13!



Why go 1:1?

@MrBrettClark 3 Comments

Why go 1:1?

As I'm answering this question for my own district and preparing for the upcoming summer conferences I thought it would be neat to collect some responses from my wonderful PLN! 

How do you respond when asked, why do/should schools go 1:1?

There are two ways you can respond to this question:
  • Leave a comment in the comment section and/or reply to a comment.
  • Make a 30 to 60 second video response and put it in my dropbox. 
Once I've collected some responses and some video clips, I'll put them together in a presentation format and then share it on my website. 

Thanks for your help! I truly believe that there are people (teachers, principal, parents, and students) who would struggle to adequately answer that question. 

All of this 1:1 talk made me think of this great photo prompt from John Spencer.