Sunday, September 30, 2012
On September 15th, a group of us from varying grade levels attended the 2012 TEACH professional development conference presented by WJCT and Community First Credit Union.
This one day conference held on a Saturday had an unexpected turn out of over 1,000 educators. Perhaps it was because the keynote speaker was Lucy Caulkins followed by Brad Cohen in the afternoon. Both keynote speakers were engaging, motivating and honest about the issues facing public education today.
The breakout sessions that followed were broad in nature but seemed to fulfill the curiosity of the participants based on the conversations heard throughout the day. The sessions covered topics such as bullying, teachers as leaders, childhood obesity, planning for your financial and personal well being and parent engagement.
With Common Core State Standards implementation underway, the session that was of most interest to me was Learning with the iPad in Common Core by Kate Kemker, a southeast education development executive for Apple, Inc.
My hope was that I would end up with a list of some cool apps I could use with my students. Dr. Kemker did share several of those but the message that I left with from this session was that using a tool such as an iPad serves as a whole new way to learn for our students, that includes e-text, project-based learning, electronic collaboration and the opportunity for ongoing research at the touch of a screen.
Overall, the day was productive and informative. I enjoyed spending the day, yes, even on a beautiful Saturday, with other educators, learning and sharing and am looking forward to next year's conference.