InnEdCO 2017 was a perfect mix of great philosophy and ideas about teaching and tools to support those ideas. I often feel overwhelmed by tools at conferences. However, after InnEdCO 2017 I am happy to say my mind is brimming with big ideas instead.
In addition to a full mind, I left InnEdCO with a full heart. I am grateful for new and old friendships that have been nurtured over these few days.
Storytelling was an overarching theme at InnEdCO 2017. I am delighted to attend a conference and find the focus to be on student voice and telling stories instead of tools. I heard about the importance of both teachers and students sharing their voices openly with each other and publicly.
My friend, Michelle, pointed out that student voice cannot be given. Voice is not an ability to be bestowed by a teacher, parent, or society; it is inherent to each of us.
Voice is not something lost to be found. There are ideas, opinions, and value in each of our thoughts that are not lost, maybe just not articulated. When discussing voice, use words like empowered, amplified, developed, and improved but not found.
I am grateful to those who generously shared their experiences and stories and encouraged each of us to share our own.
- Peder and Sean got me thinking about sharing my voice as an educator to share the great things happening in our classrooms.
- Rusul blew me away with her keynote. Her confidence, eloquence, and genuine love for all those she encounters is inspiring. She shared her own experience, highlighted the work of other educators, and encouraged public, authentic, student expression. Rusul also facilitated a discussing that got me thinking about how much of developing your voice is truly listening? Also, what medium is best for developing your voice?
- Mattea shared her story in encouraging educators to show up as their true, whole selves for their students so that their students can do the same.
The second day left me with more questions than answers, but also big ideas about how to take student voice a little further.
Mustefa shared his industry experience with design thinking and pushed me to think harder about the purpose and outcomes of this process. I tried to get my thinking down in this infographic since it has been bouncing around in my head for a few days now. This interpretation is strictly my own, to find more about his process: start here.
Kevin shared his Doyen Model for personalized learning. I found the Doyen Model to be a cross between standards-based grading and hyperdocs. Using this model in the classroom would ensure transparency, choice, and clear points of discussion for students and teachers. I am a little bit in love with the Doyen Model for how it could fit into my classroom. Also, Mattea and I created our own Buffy example! Slay all day.
Lastly, Galen facilitated a session highlighting the differences between differentiation and Universal Design for Learning. While I was familiar with these concepts, the way Galen explained and modeled them clarified my understanding. I stole a few images directly from the slides to illustrate these ideas.
Differentiation is needs-based, problem-based and limiting. Universal Design is strength-based, solution-based, and creates opportunities for all students.
I want to empower students to share their voice publicly, authentically, and meaningfully. Their voice can go further to make them partners and co-creators of the classroom environment and in their own learning experience.
I have no idea what this looks like in terms of practical implementation, but it shakes up my understanding of the potential for a classroom experience. Students could start by determining their individual key result for Earth Science. We could work together on the lesson design process using the Doyen Model and Universal Design.
I leave InnEdCO feeling renewed and inspired for the new school year. Also, more devoted to sharing my own teaching publicly and authentically. I am reflecting on sharing with my true self with my students and creating more space for their voices and input. Thanks for a great week, I am already looking forward to next year.