Building Learning Communities

Due to my broken ankle and travel restrictions, I was not able to attend ISTE this year in San Antonio. I quickly began searching for an alternative professional development opportunity for the summer and was able to take advantage of the Building Learning Communities (BLC) conference for the first time. Here are some of my highlights:

  • Genius Hour – I attended several sessions on Genius Hour (AKA Passion Project or 20% Project) and was thrilled to hear Joy Kirr speak on the subject in one of those sessions. She has such amazing resources that I’ll need to look over (HERE). I’ve been very interested in giving my students a choice in selecting areas of study based on personal interest. I’m still not quite sure how to incorporate it yet. This is something I’ll have to think about for a bit. It was inspiring to see examples of how others have implemented this method of learning with students.
  • Keynote speaker Superintendent Eric Williams – Eric is the superintendent of a large school district in Virginia. His teachers are encouraged to engage students through authentic challenging problems. Teachers are supported as they share student work and connect with the world outside of their classrooms through the district’s #OttW (one to the world) initiative.
  • BreakoutEDU – Participating in a BreakoutEDU session reinvigorated me! I need to create more games for my own students. It was fun to be on the other side of the games and actually play instead of just facilitating a game for my students.
  • #BLC17 – The sharing among attendees was fantastic! Take a look at the tweeting going on throughout the 3-day event. You’ll find resources, support, encouragement, jokes, and maybe even a few silly photos 🙂