Monday, March 7, 2016

#SXSWedu Day #1 Ramblings

Alright, someone told me right before the opening keynote this morning that by the end of the day my mind would be absolutely blown.
I was all like, "Yeah, ok, Ive been to conferences before"
And he was all, "But you've never been to SXSWedu"
And the I was all like, "Ok, we'll see"

Ya'll, wow!

This place is like Edcamp meets ISTE meets TED talks. The ideas. and then I get ideas. And then I think that the Ministry of Education would not approve of my ideas.

So the opening keynote was Temple Grandin. I had never heard of her before today. She is #amazeballs people. She is a 68 yr old woman that is on the spectrum and also works with the beef industry and more...designing cattle runs to the processing plants. She speaks about her autism and how we should make these kiddos great at their one (or more) thing. Here is a link to her TED talk from 2010. I did not grab a video of her today, but you will see in this video why I instantly fell in love with her. She is cranky and particular and weird. I would have to say she is a woman after my own heart.

From there I went to a session on how to to Inspire Little Learners to Become Big Thinkers. This one was a selfing session because I have two little thinkers at home. I have to tell you, the gut checks you get around this place are insane. I have two girls. One that thinks just like me and one that is just like my husband. The one that is just like me is the quickest to get on my nerves when I am teaching her something, because she like to give up. Well, it dawns on me in this session, that she is too much like me. I would have needed to do while it was being explained and I needed short burst of informations rather than long lists or step by step narratives. We need to support their steps to arrival of a conclusion. We are talking little here. Like preK to 5th. We need to allow them to grow in their, genres, places. This is obviously where the divide in educations starts...birth to elementary. I learned that astronomy, a class most do not get until HS would be a perfect start to science for the littles because it is observation based.

From that session, I went to a session on the #tinyisbig movement in schools. This can be many things, from starting to work small calculated changes into your existing school to creating small actual schools. They took the idea of pop up dinners, a concept I had never heard of before. This is where I, someone wanting to start a restaurant but don't have it all together yet, can call up a local restaurant and ask if on their day off or at a time when they are closed, could I come in and host a dinner of my own menu with their kitchen and equipment. Weird right? Then if that does well, the person might buy a food truck to test the waters with minimal losses. And then go for the restaurant. So in the session, we split into group for form the pop-up version of a menu of our fav foods. Next we created food trucks. Then we talked about if it would work as a restaurant. All of this was the metaphor for an idea for schools. Well their concept anyway, is that you start with a small idea and work it into your already existing school.

After the session were over, I went to the edu playground. This is much like ISTE in that it the newest of the new and the funnest of the fun. I was gamified. Literally, they ( put me into a game by taking two pics of me looking like I am running and then we got to answer questions about cells and they reproduction processes. They will be sending the gamified me to a link where we can all play it soon. I will share with all of you and then YOU TOO can watch me run through the maze while answering questions on many topics of science. The scoop is, they sell the templates and you add your questions. Super fun way to start small with this trendy movement.

I walked the long way back to the hotel trying to get in a little sightseeing. I walked by many places, but the state capital was photo/selfie worthy. So now after day one is done and in the books, I start to piece together my tomorrow. So many sessions happening all at the same time. All of this to say. The guy at the opening session was right. This is so much. So good.

I apologize for all the selfies here.

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