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FETC 2012 Thinking About the Un-Comfort Zone

January 27, 2012

This was my first FETC. I got lucky with the weather, I got lucky with the company I got to keep, I got lucky that my presentations (1 and 2) went well (I think). But most important of all, I got lucky with what I took away from the conference.

I spent much of the conference thinking about students as leaders. I included Chris Lehman and Sylvia Martinez in one of my presentations because of how they empower the students they work with.

I listened to stories form the changes Shannon Miller has made in Van Meter, Iowa. I sat and heard Jason Markey and some other folks from East Leyden High School in Illinois speak about empowering students as leaders. I engaged in some great conversations on Twitter:

Heidi Hayes Jacobs spoke about how we are limited by what we know. Many of us tend to do things that we are used to and comfortable with. But she also said that we have to feel uncomfortable in order to grow. I think one of the great ways to get in that un-comfort zone is to put the learning in the hands of the students.

Heidi talked about the following with regards to what makes a good Web 2.0 site:

  • encourage engagement and curiosity
  • deepens examination of content
  • engenders independence
  • reflects quality in student products/performance

But I am thinking that we can apply these same requirements to how we put our students in leadership roles.

So, think about how you can push yourself to try something new. Perhaps that new thing can be a change in the role of the students in your classroom. Please let me know what you think.


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 1:35 pm

    I agree with your assessment of this high quality conference…Looking forward to all of my growth because of this conference…learned soo much and can’t wait to implement! I’m already psyched for next year friend!!

    • February 13, 2012 11:48 pm

      Great post! Both my kids are iertigund with the Ipod Touch. My 8 yo just got one for her bday and my almost 6 yo commands my husbands. I heard this quote recently by an educator that is in the process of integrating technology in their classroom: “We are not preparing them for a world that is coming, we are preparing them for a world that IS.”Steph Hwww.k12.com

  2. January 27, 2012 1:36 pm

    Thanks Cindy – It was such a pleasure spending time with you – From now on, instead of coffee – I’ll just give you a call to get me going. Your enthusiasm truly is contagious.

  3. February 13, 2012 3:45 pm

    @Lisa FF, thank you for snairhg this. As the cost of digital devices decreases and they become more and more ubiquitous, I wonder how long it will be before paper becomes an outdated tool. While digital immigrants likely cringe at that thought, I haven’t used paper in a half decade, and am more effective, efficient, and prolific as a result. And…extra bonus for the environment too!

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