Keep your Learners present and in mind

April 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Apple, Conference, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Stay in the question(s): Reflections from the Apple Leadership Conference2010    (Part 1/6) 

Next year I will be joining the staff at the International School of Prague and so I was invited to attend the recent Apple Leadership Conference hosted there.  I have read and heard that Apple Conferences are well organized and well worth attending so I was excited to be there and also meet many of my new colleagues.  The biggest thought that stuck to me was Marco Torres stating, “Stay in the question.”  I would like to share about the Apple Leadership Conference along that theme; the ideas and questions that arose from the presentations and events.

The first highlight of the Conference was listening to students from the International School of Prague present their classroom projects and learning on the first night of the conference and later sharing in a panel discussion with Clay Shirky at the end of the conference. This reminded me of my recent virtual attendance in the Flat Classroom mini-conference in which I worked with students and how much I gained from that experience. Another example, while a teacher in at Horne Street School in Dover, NH in 2006, I co-presented with a group of my grade 3 students in a district workshop where my students prepared and presented a guide they made on how to research using the IIM Research process . The audience was the entire K-12 district staff and the feedback after was that the student presentation was the highlight of the half-day auditorium workshop. I now think that educators should never hold a conference or workshop without students present.

So my first question is, Why do we so rarely consult the students and regard their responses as to how to best educate and facilitate learning in our classrooms and schools?

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