Saturday, May 14, 2016

Discussing Design & Making the Most of MakerSpaces

Last Saturday I was at an all day educational leadership workshop entitled "Composing Our Symphony."  To a degree, that's how it works for us teachers: workshops on the weekends.  It is then that teachers give up their time, in pursuit of furthering their craft.  Teachers exchange leisure time and family time in order to NOT have to write up sub plans. It's THAT big of a deal to write sub plans! Yet interestingly, in most fields, workshops are NOT on weekends, and sub plans are NOT a necessity. This falls in the category of "one of the many things most people probably haven't got a clue about teachers!"  We give up our weekends, our family time, and sometimes even our evenings, all in the pursuit of our own love of learning and perfecting what it is we do in the classroom.

Given all of that:  It was a great day of learning, fellowship, and a community of educators.

It usually is!

The common thread during our day o'learning and our two sessions plus keynote that I attended was "design."
Keynote Speaker Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year, closed the conference by speaking about about designing a life & career based on passion and purpose.  You could feel in his passion how it was he was awarded that accolade.  Most certainly well deserved!

Silvia Mata Marin opened the conference by speaking on her role as a graphic designer who focuses on "Social Design."  What is Social Design?  we didn't know either, until Silvia eloquently spoke on how it is the combination of collaboration, & creativity of people, places, problems and projects in order to bring about social change and social justice.  She was impassioned (and rightfully so) about the central American immigration process of unaccompanied minors to America.

And I spoke...there in the middle.  Making the Most of the Maker Movement. Discussing the design process, sharing the current trend of DIY 2.0.  High Tech, low tech, no tech.  It's the way hands-on teachers have been designing their classrooms for eons.  But, at its center, is the design process.

Hence the trifecta of our design day.  Which probably was a happy accident, inadvertently by design. But certainly the way in which we all "Compose a Symphony."

As a speaker, it was certainly the largest crowd I'd ever had, at maybe 80 people.  People laughed at my jokes (in the right places--which always feels like a "win" in the middle of presentation).  The 2 secrets of my success: Quin, and the snippet/trailer from Maker: A Documentary on The Maker Movement, both below!

Circling back, I again hold true to the idea that it is through innovation that we will be able to heal our planet and solve our collective problems (environmental and otherwise).  Given that, we must work to encourage and urge our students to become creative problem solvers. It is through being tinkerers and innovators that they will unlock the problems we are facing, fixing them, making our world a better place!

It doesn't happen accidentally:  we need to design it!

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