#PreSES14 STEM Educator Symposium @ Preston Middle

This is the second time I attended the symposium. I was asked to give a keynote at the museum called “The School of Tomorrow looks like Kindergarten” as well as give a talk about the SMART Collaborative Classroom. I was able to contribute to a discussion about their new Collaborative Class. Although I built the first one, I am quickly falling behind because I do not have enough boards for all my students, the PCs that are running them cannot keep up with the new software and the in ability to be a google /smart amp school.

I find it fascinating that they have such a synergistic group of people running a national conference at a middle school. They are awesome!!

I learned from Scott and his team the value of bringing a team. He brought many people to Canada to see things in action and they were able to build something. Five people going to one conference is much better than 5 people going to 5 conferences. On our way home, I am sure we annoyed the rest of the passengers as we redesigned RHS grade 9 & 10. The timing is interesting in that we are in the middle of high school renewal with few concrete examples to follow. I wonder what will happen? Is this the start of the realization of my vision that I stole from others, (C21 Canada), of high school looking like Kindergarten.

I really loved getting to know all the people at Preston. Of particular note was a new person, Cathy Sampson. She came up to me to thank me for my Collaborative Class. She started to tear up. Later in the symposium, she showed what she was doing in her math class using “discourse”. It was I who got teary. She took what I did and went a step beyond. I loved watching her talk about what a negative sign meant to the student and wanted the student to record it in their journal. Very Fun.

I hope to return to Preston and I hope it will be with a team that will help transform our grade 9-10 classes.

I got to know Deena from SMART. I have met her quickly once before and exchanged lots of emails, but this was wonderful. It is unfortunate that she was so busy. She did not get to participate in the symposium as much as I think she would have wanted. I was really hoping she would see my talk on the SMART Collaborative Classroom because I have new material and I had teachers doing the “Alive or Not” project. Oh well, I did get to have supper with her and learn how to better interact with her and SMART.

The CEO of Agilent, an HP spin off, gave her talk just after mine at the museum. She crystalized many of the things I have been thinking for a while. Some examples include, “Culture eats strategy for Breakfast”.