Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 Thoughts After EduCon Day 1

I've had an interesting week and, of course, a lot of interesting conversation today at Educon. My usual practice is to try to mull it all over and write a coherent piece on the blog, but for the sake of getting it done, I've decided to mix it up. I'm just throwing out the first 10 complete (random) thoughts that make their way onto the page. Publish post. And worry about fleshing it all out at a later date...

1. I need to blog more. I am doing good work and learning a lot. The missing piece is that I do not reflect and share enough. Actually, I reflect almost constantly in my head or in my daily conversations with Silvia. It's the sharing piece that is missing, as well as pushing myself to organize the ideas and communicate them to others who may not have the same background knowledge. I get in my own way with my expectations for each blog post. Sometimes less is more.

2. I am glad I brought the big heavy boots (thanks, Marjie) and not glad I brought the big heavy SLR camera. I should have stuck with just using my iphone as a camera. As much as I love photography, I love traveling light even more.

3. Talking is an important part of my learning. My 6 year-old son frequently interrupts others, saying, "I NEED to talk." One of the hardest things for him in school is how much he is not allowed to talk. Once, when having yet another discussion with him about school behavior, he looked down sadly and said, "I just want to be able to talk."
I have to admit that I can relate to this. I think I am a good listener, too, and I don't need to talk all the time, nor do I think I talk too much (most of the time). However, I LOVE the Educon model of a conversation. Participating is an important part of my learning. If I'm not included in the conversation, like with a traditional presentation, I usually turn to tweeting to get my talking fix. But I prefer actively engaging with the ideas as opposed to just listening and taking notes.

4. If I feel this way, others must feel this way, too. I think one of the biggest things I've taken away from the Educon and Edubloggercon model is that professional development has to change. Just like classroom teaching has to change. I think maybe as teachers and presenters we get overly bogged down in how much there is to say. We just want to make sure not to miss an important point or resource. However, actions speak louder than words, and I think I speak for a lot of teachers when I say that teachers are tired of the hypocrisy of a presenter talking at teachers telling them not to teach by talking at students. PD must become more active and engaging.
A lot of teachers complain of feeling overwhelmed after professional development, where so much is introduced at once by a well-meaning presenter. I think that a common response to this feeling is to totally shut down. Less is more!

5. I really liked the lunchtime "Encienda EduCon" where people delivered a 5 minute talk using 20 slides that automatically advanced. I think this would be an excellent model for site-based professional development. I would love to hear from every teacher at my school this way. I think it would have far-reaching implications.

---It is already day 2 now, and I didn't get past #5. But it's time to pay attention again... so much to learn. I'm going to stop here and publish. Sorry if my title was a bit misleading...

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I guess less is more!


John Russell Smith said...

Hi, Mrs. Hernandez
My name is John Smith. I enjoy the randomness of the post on how you spoke your mind. I believe if more people should just let out the feelings inside of them. This would clear the mind for new thoughts and ideas. This also lets you remember how you felt when you put it into words so when you come back to finish your post, you will know where you left off. Thank you for the post and feel free to check out my blog at. http//

Olivia Bush said...

Hi Ms. Hernandez. My name is Olivia Bush. I have already posted on your previous blog. But here is some information on how I got to your blog. I am currently an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama and in a class called EDM 310. This is my technology class to prepare me to be a more technologically literate teacher. My teacher Dr. Strange has linked me to your blog to follow.
I have really enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and ideas. I know it will all be very useful to me when I begin teaching.
I really enjoyed this blog too. I have two children and my 3 year old is constantly saying “I need to talk or let me talk”. I agree with you in that “less is more”. I think you nailed it on the head when you discussed being more actively involved verses sitting and taking notes. I think it is important for children and adults to actively engage their minds rather than just sitting and listening. I know I get more out of a class when I am involved and doing something than just sitting and taking notes. My mind tends to wander to the other things I need to be doing, so I know children are the same.
Thank you for sharing this and your other blogs. It has been very eye opening. Hopefully one day educators can get on board with this thinking and change the classroom for the better. It would not only change the classroom for the kids but teachers as well. What great things are to come because of teachers like you sharing. Thank you!

Mommy Makeover said...

Hi Ms Hernandez, My name is Rebecca Sisson and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Stranges EDM310 class. I can very much relate to your post, especially with fears I have for my daughter about to enter kindergarten. She talks so very much and I am so scared she will not be a great listener (and does that go hand in hand with being a great learner as well!?). Continuing on though that maybe it is a sign teacher do need to stop talking at students and instead engage them in lessons. I hope that I can be one of the teacher students will be able to connect with and feel engaged in learning. I know that in my own experiences I don't do as well in classes where they are strictly lecture, I 50% of the time can't focus! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, I enjoyed reading your post thoroughly! To view my full response feel free to visit my blog next week when I post!