As the month of March winds down, I am wrestling with a lot of big thoughts in my heads about grading, grades, school culture, design thinking, and school climate. I am really wrestling with it. I can’t quite get it down coherently at this time. So, instead, you get some resources from an event that I attended at the beginning of the month!
Every year in March, either in Detroit or Grand Rapids, the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning gather for their annual conference! This year was the 42nd annual event that brought together over 4,000 teachers, administrators, coaches, and superintendents to the conference. For me, there were a few things that stuck out.
First, I attended a research-based pre-conference session with Dr. Liz Kolb from the University of Michigan. She introduced some of the research and theory behind tech and learning in our schools and covered the Triple E Framework, a tool for measuring technology integration in our schools. Dr. Kolb will actually be keynoting a conference that I helped created this July.
The next morning, Bonnie St. John kicked the conference off with a story about beating the odds and perseverance. This was a great way to kick off the day. I then presented to the largest crowd that I have ever presented to around 80 total people. After that, I focused on getting my head around how to work within the scheme of design thinking in my role. While I am able to support many classrooms, it is hard to get in and change the culture of thinking to one where it is okay to make mistakes and fail in our first attempts. I am working towards it. I then spent some time having conversations about grading and assessments in our school, hence my roadblock in getting those thoughts out.
Finally, I was more than impressed with the closing keynote from Joe Sanfelippo. Dr. Sanfelippo is a superintendent at Falls Creek Public Schools in Falls Creek, Wisconsin. His message was telling your story so that others cannot fill it in for you. He was inspirational and really inspired me to get back and do some of the work that he was suggesting. If you have the chance to see him, you really should!
Overall, it was a fantastic conference. Here is a link to the resources from the conference app. Check them out and see what you could us.