Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Full Court Press on Learning

Today brought our Summer of eLearning tour to Bloomington, a town well known for fantastic learning experiences. This week was no exception, as the Monroe County Community School Corporation hosted a five day learning summit diverse enough to truly be a 'Full Court Press on Learning.' Their speakers included Michael Fullan and Robert Marzano, and topics such as literacy, comprehension, engagement, and the many factors of change impacting teaching and learning.

Tuesday engaged hundreds of educators in three main spaces at Bloomington High School South. In a large meeting room, Dr. Tammy Heflebower, vice president of the Marzano Research Laboratory spoke about the important aspects that create a highly engaged classroom and shared great strategies for creating such a space. Next door in the auditorium, Dr. Tim Rasinski led a group interested in improving their students' reading ability. His session on word study and fluency shared approaches to assess and monitor key components of reading. In the Media Center, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach led our group in a presentation focused on unleashing student passions by leveraging the tools of the 21st Century.

Sheryl is well known for connecting educators through her Powerful Learning Practice. Like her opening physical demonstration (photo left), Sheryl's session did a great job of showing us the value of sharing our perspective and seeing how it fits in the tapestry of the education community.
If you haven't seen it, check out the Connected Learning Manifesto she posted. Among the other resources Sheryl shared, she pointed math teachers to a couple of valuable blogs written by connected leaders: Darren Kuropatwa and Dan Meyer.

Like Sheryl's presentation, the great thing about Bloomington's Learning Summit is that it is connected, in many ways. For participants, the technology doesn't exist at a separate conference, but is connected to learning about literacy and enagagement, and all the other things that are important in our classrooms. Thanks to Jason Taylor and the team at MCCSC for organizing this massive learning experience and sharing it with Indiana educators!

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