“Do you get hours for this?” my husband asked me Sunday morning-ish as I ran to the fridge for a Diet Coke between RSCON4 sessions. He was referring, of course, to the staff development hours that are required for my Teacher Appraisal each year.
“Nope!” I called behind me as I ran back to the computer.
And, yes, I was literally still in my pajamas.
They say that about online conferences, you know. “Staff development you can do in your pajamas!”
So I did.
RSCON4 is the first online conference that I’ve attended – and it definitely won’t be my last. I want to thank Shelly Terrell, one of the driving forces behind RSCON, (and a fellow dog-loving, San Antonio resident) for bringing the conference to my attention. And I want to thank every presenter, volunteer, and organizer for putting together this amazing FREE offering for teachers.
My only regret was that I also wanted to attend TEDx San Antonio on Saturday. But, no worries. RSCON had me covered, and they archived every. single. session. And, believe me, I’m going to be accessing those archives!
In the meantime, I want to share a few of the “takeaways” I got from what I was able to take part in this weekend – just as I did with my TEDx observations.
Gallit Zvi – In her talk about Genius Hour, Gallit gave me several ideas and new resources. She referenced Daniel Pink’s TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation.” Also, she gave a great a definition of “Genius” as Latin for “to bring into being, create, produce” for those people who might question the label, “Genius Hour.” In addition, she recommended setting up a blogging schedule for kids and using the #comments4kids hashtag on Twitter to get people to read and comment on blog posts done by students.
Kelly Tenkely – In “Connections Through Inquiry,” Kelly and her colleagues shared about their amazing school, Anastasis Academy, and showed tons of fabulous great photos of inquiry-based learning that really prove that children will take their learning farther than many people expect when given the chance. One example I loved was how they connected Fibonacci to Dot Day!
Todd Nesloney – TechNinja Todd was joined by 2 Guys and Some iPads (Drew Minock and Brad Waid) as they shared how you can get started with Augmented Reality and some really, really fun toys that I am extremely jealous they have (like the Daqri 4-D Elements Cubes!) Be sure to visit their sites for more on Augmented Reality – including videos and how-to posts galore.
Angela Maiers and Mark Moran – Poor Angela! She just got out of the hospital Sunday morning, and rallied herself to help Mark deliver a keynote on their Choose2Matter movement. If you haven’t heard Angela Maiers speak, go to this recording, or her TEDx talk. She is so passionate and inspirational! She said two things that I was able to jot down, but there was so much more! “Genius is too important a word to limit to superheroes.” “There’s nothing about us without us.” And the key slogan for Choose2Matter, “You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution.” I could probably write two more blog posts on everything said during this keynote, but I honestly think it’s better if you listen to it yourself!
Principal El – I didn’t get to hear the beginning of Salome Thomas-El’s closing plenary, but I am so glad I was able to tune in for some of it. This motivational speaker has been featured on the Dr. Oz show, and has a new book, The Immortality of Influence, on the shelves. (He also wrote Choose to Stay.) One of the quotes that I wrote down from his wonderful talk was, “It’s not about teaching them how to be successful, but teaching them how to respond when they’re not.”
No, I didn’t get hours for this. And I am fine with that. I got enlightened and inspired. I only worry about whether or not I’m going to receive some sort of compensation for the time I’ve given when I feel like my time was wasted. And it definitely was not wasted this weekend.