Friday, November 25, 2016

My 2 BIG Takeaways from #NYSCATE16

Last week I attended, once again, the NYCSATE 2016 Conference.

NYSCATE is one of my favorite conferences because it has a wide range of relevant presentations and Keynote Speakers, as well as, many attendees are my colleagues and good friends.   This year I had the honor of doing 2 Coffee EDU sessions, which are open ended "Unconference" Style conversations that were developed by one of my all time favorite inspirations, Alice Keeler.  I truly enjoyed this informal get together with good coffee!  The attendees were certainly die hard Edtech advocates for getting up at 7AM to share.  Some generalizations of educators is, a) They love coffee! and b) they love sharing and receiving!

Our shared resources are located HERE  please add something to them if you were an attendee, or if you are an educator who enjoy learning from others!

On my ride home from the conference, I thought about the big ideas or takeaways from the conference and two major themes came to mind from two Keynotes.

Takeaway 1:  Think Future/ Try New Challenges.  Adam Bellow's Opening keynote was really thought provoking!  I have seen Adam several times and he never disappoints.  He covered a tremendous amount of ground, but one of his statements and I wish I had written it down, was something to the effect of Edtech savvy educators are Futuristic Time Travellers to the edtech wary (for lack of a better term).  In a sense, we inhabit a slight time warp ahead in using technology tools not yet adopted by the general education populace.  This rang so true to me as I have found myself the "rebel tech user" among my education friends.  It gave me a knowing chuckle, but it also gave me the renewed viewpoint, that I need to be a better "scout leader" in a sense, by starting my tech conversations at a different starting point. And yet, I need to keep pushing to bring out the edtech best practices for enhancing teachers and students' productivity and learning.  I also liked Adam's challenge to think outside of the box with your lessons.  Tech shouldn't just be used to use it, but to use it effectively to help learners.   My friend and colleague, Mike Sylofski tweeted:


On a lighter note, Adam's Futuristic comment instantly made me think of one of my favorite gags from the show, "The Office".  This skit was entitled, Future Dwight.

Lastly, I have been following the great work of Matt Miller from "Ditch That Textbook" site and he is in the process of getting teachers' feedback on the what the 21st Century Classroom should look like.  His post on this, can be found:  HERE.  Matt really has some insightful ideas, I would recommend following his email newsletter.

Takeaway Number 2:  Perseverence, talent and hard work are powerful forces to change the world was from Mike Massimino's beautiful Keynote where he related his trials and adventures of being a NASA Astronaut.  Mike truly gave testament to the notion of perseverance and hard work can produce amazing results.  His drive to become an astronaut met mighty challenges, but he finally made his way using grit and hard work as a student at Columbia and MIT.  His photos from space were truly breathtaking.  I think we all need to recognize that most of our dreams can only be achieved through passion, talent, and hard work.  It's never too late to take on new challenges using all of those factors in your favor.  I'm very much looking forward to reading Mike's Book.  Found on Amazon HERE

As usual, I have walked away from  NYSCATE, tired and inspired!