Friday, July 8, 2011

Aloha! First Days @ Lab School @ Punahou School

The Duke
Originally uploaded by Miss Martini (AnnaLynn M.)

The first few days of Lab School @ Punahou are behind me and today is the last day of week 1.  I have already taken part in some really interesting discussions, learned about new techniques and methods to apply to my own teaching and have met and talked with some very inspiring educators.

The Lab School is a 2-week professional development program, that Ted Landgraf described more as an unconference. There are cohorts, which are basically groups of specialized interests. This year, I am participating in the Mobile Technology cohort and Dave Wee (Big Building, Lots of Books) is auditing the Media and Digital Ethics cohort. However, one of the great things so far, is that you are not super tied to attending just your cohort meetings. If there is something you are interested in participating in, you can just talk to your facilitators and attend. I am making it sound like it is very formal but it's not at all.

Another great event are the keynotes. They are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and there are 2 speakers for each keynote session. This week we had:

Katie Morrow, who is the Tech Integration Specialist at O'Neill Public Schools in Nebraska. She's doing some incredible things over there and was just an inspiring person to here speak and to talk too. She's over at Teach42Morrow website. Definitely check out what she is doing and follow her on Twitter! Katie spoke on "Choice, Challenge and Change in the Classroom." 

Miguel Young from iTunes U was iChatted in. He spoke about some of the trends in mobile technology in education and pointed out some great new partners on iTunes U.

Dr. Neil Scott talked about the Makery Cloud Project. He is over at the University of Hawaii and they are just doing some incredible things that include teaching students the importance of design, curiosity, invention, entrepreneurship, making things and taking pride in their work. One of the points he made was about keeping workers relevant even with all these things that are used to automate things.  You have to see what these kids are creating! It's incredible!

Hillary Freeman, from Nueva School, spoke about 21st century thinking skills (computational thinking, ISTE) and how these can be applied to any curriculum.

There was a lot of discussion and modeling of challenge-based learning methods practiced by a lot of Apple Education sponsored schools. 

The entire environment in this program is about sharing and collaboration beyond the school walls. It is inspiring and exciting to be a part of this group of innovative educators.

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