Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MSLAedu & TEDxMCPSTeachers

Today was a long day.  Not that most days aren't long, but this one was exceptionally long.  It was also very rewarding and exciting to see Missoula teachers participate in the first ever Missoula TEDx program.  This was the second Montana TEDx program in the State.  Bozeman held the first.

Note:  Above logo created by one of my Graphic Design students, Rebecca Norman.

The morning started off with the MSLAedu event. This program included speakers from The University of Montana, Missoula County Public Schools and the greater Missoula community.  They worked together to cultivate imagination and innovation among teachers and students in classrooms from preschool to graduate school.

This was a unique four-hour conference that highlighted the innovative programs and projects that represented collaborations between UM and MCPS.  These programs and projects demonstrated elements of both the University of Montana's Global Leadership Initiative  and Missoula County Public Schools' 21st Century Model of Change.  This conference showcased educational innovators from both institutes who are collaborating on exciting projects to engage students of all ages and produce graduates with imagination, creative capacity, and innovative potential.

I was a speaker at the conference.  The topic was When Missoula was Young, Engaging Students in the Living History of their Community -  A Flat Classroom® Approach

Sentinel High School students and Lewis and Clark third graders are collaborating on a cross-curricular,  innovative project that flattens and expands the classroom walls to include our greater community.  Students are investigating life in Missoula in its birth year of 1883 when the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in Missoula to transform it from a frontier village to a bustling center of commerce.  Thinking as detectives, journalists, folklorists, and historians, students search for clues to reconstruct life in early Missoula through the eyes of children living at that time.   Students will share their learning through digital stories that will contribute to the historic record of our community. This project has the critical attributes of 21st century curriculum in that it is technology-rich, project-based, and research-driven.   It integrates many of the skills that students will need to be successful in both school and career: connection, communication, collaboration, and creativity as well as higher-order thinking skills and problem solving.

To view a video that was taken at the conference by two students in a Cell Phone Cinema class at the University of Montana captured footage using iPhone 4S devices entirely:  Cell Phone Video.

It was a great conference in that it was nice to network with University professors and the community and have an opportunity to not only talk about your own project, but hear about the other great projects happening in local education.

The TEDxMCPSTeachers program was also about four hours in the evening.  I was familiar with TEDx as I was one of the lucky ones that got a ticket to a TEDx presentation in Denver in the summer of 2010 while I was there for an ISTE (International Society of Technology Education) conference. At TEDx Teachers events, teachers take the stage to deliver innovative learning experiences that cover classic school subjects in a TED-like way.

This Missoula event showcased the passionate relationship between vision and practice embraced by innovative staff members and students in Missoula County Public Schools. Our innovators have transformed their teaching and learning. They had great ideas worth sharing!

1 comment:

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