Reflections on the Iowa 1:1 Conference

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Iowa 1:1 Leadership Day and Conference last week.  Although it is possible to learn through Twitter, blogs, other online resources, and local colleagues,  I always enjoy the opportunity to listen to other people share their experiences and to hear them think out loud.  When I gain insight into the thinking process of others, I not only hear their problems, but gain understanding in what brought them to the solutions.  I also hear the questions that guided their thinking and probem-solving process.

The big question I brought back from the Iowa 1:1 conference is “What things are preventing us from innovating?”  These things can be processes, procedures, traditions, physical spaces, equipment, technologies or anything that maintains or facilitates old practices.  I find the question interesting because it forces us to look at things and ask “Why are they here? Why are we keeping them?  Are they here for a purpose, for convenience, for security, or through the momentum of familiarity?”  Do we even realize when something we see or use every day is holding us back from transforming the learning in our classrooms?

Think of a process, procedure, or physical item you regularly use in instruction.  If that was suddenly taken away, how would your practice change?  Would it’s absence force you to innovate, or restrict your ability to innovate?  When we put everything on the table in light of these questions, we may start seeing familiar things in a new light.  Weeding the hindrances from our environment may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is very difficult to change or innovate with old equipment, processes, or routines that hinder us from transforming teaching and learning.

There were many great presentations that occurred during the conference, and rather than talk about specific workshops, I will share the page of presentation resources links so that you can explore them on your own.

Mark Your Calendars:  Edcamp KC is set for November 7, 2015.  Registration dates have not been set.

Don’t forget that we will hold another Student-Led PD session this Thursday during Early-Out.