Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mashup Artists

As I'm here at #edcampgr, I am struck over and over today by the idea of teaching as a mashup art. People talk a lot about teachers 'stealing' from teachers or other equivalent expressions, but it's more creative than that. It is amazing listening to these edcamp teachers.  The kind of teachers that give up a Saturday for free professional development, are willing to present when they didn't come here to do that, are here explicitly to take control of their own PD - these are amazing people.

It's really cool how much these teachers have in common, and yet have so much of their own to add, also. They share so many values, yet are implementing them in different ways. Being such a twitter-savvy conference, you see ideas intermingling from concurrent sessions.  Over the course of several sessions, you see people applying immediately what they heard from multiple sources in the next conversation.

Not actually math-positive.
Someone was talking with Dave Coffey and I about Khan (that happens), and that essential nature of teaching was part of the conversation. Constructivist teachers get frustrated with students asking us to tell them what to do, but then those teachers can ask that same thing. Tell me what to teach or how to teach. Or, worse in my eyes, teacher educators tell novice teachers (or, arrogantly, inservice teachers) Teach Like This.

Not the teachers at edcamp. Even when they hear something amazing, they think 'how can I adapt?' or 'what will this look like in my classroom?' or 'how does that relate to what someone else was talking about?'

A persistent idea for me is the student/learner distinction (if you haven't, watch these videos, please. I went there, used caps), but I feel like we need a similar distinction for teacher of students vs teacher of learners. This relates to another word-confusion, the Skemp idea of instrumental vs relational. We need a way to talk about these different ideas in a way that supports all teachers in improving.

That happens at an edcamp.

Some of the resources from the day:
Sessions I was in:
@benrimes Tech Savvy Ed website
Video Story Problems vimeo channel
@kiemanha's Inquiry Google site
Project Zero's resources
Thinking Routines for Numeracy
Neato Comprehension Continuum framework (pdf)
Edward Burger, Williams prof, author of 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
Burley School's iPad blog
K-12 open source eTextbooks 
@anthonydilaura's Innovative iPad blog

Others: (twitter lets you eavesdrop)
@taramaynard shared @kfouss' GeoGebra and Google Forms
@delta_dc shared Project Based Learning explained (YouTube)
@sjunkins How Twitter is reinventing collaboration among teachers
@Packwoman208's Flipped resources

More? Check out the #edcampGR twitter stream.

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